Wausau schools balance $3 million shortfall - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau schools balance $3 million shortfall

by Bryon Graff

WAUSAU (WAOW) - The Wausau school district balances a $3 million dollar shortfall.  A large chunk of the deficit will be made up by teacher retirements.  

18 teachers voluntarily retired.  That's about twice the number they had last year.

Plus, three other teachers quit.

So that makes up about half the shortfall.

And they expect enrollment to drop. 

Steve Murley/Wausau Schools Superintendent: "Right now we have a graduating class of about 800. We're bringing in about 650 freshmen. So we lose about 150 students each year. We've got about two more years of that and then our enrollment begins to flatten out. So there is light at the end of the tunnel for us. Because, although we do anticipate there still will be budget reductions from the state funding process, we won't be hit with the double whammy of those budget reductions and the penalty for declining enrollment.

The district saves $800,000 by reducing its operations budget. That includes transportation and utilities.  $200,000 will be sliced by cutting administrative staff.

Some middle and high school students already teach a 6th class.  Others will be required to do so.

They've also been under a hiring freeze since the beginning of 2010.

The school board will work with the public this fall as it considers more restructuring.

Online Reporter: Bryon Graff

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