Parents add more ideas for Merrill School Board - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Parents add more ideas for Merrill School Board


 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MERRILL (WAOW) -- A group of parents brainstorm ways to trim the budget within the Merrill School District. The school board may need to cut nearly $3 million out of next year's budget.

Members of the school board have been trying to crunch their budget numbers for months and now parents in the district step forward with ideas of their own.

"We want to see the rules changed to allow more realistic education at this point in time," said Quality MAPS member Kevin Stevenson.

The school board announced they may have to cut nearly 10% of next year's budget in a meeting last month. Now, MAPS group leaders said they have some ideas of what the schools can do without.

"I know that there will have to be some cuts," said Stevenson, "but I want to minimize those cuts and we can do that but we have to be creative about how we're going to do it."

Some of their ideas include moving the administrative building into one of the other schools, so the building can be used for storage, and consolidating training equipment for the middle and high schools. They also want the board to consider virtual learning options,. where teachers could split time between nearby districts.

"We don't have time to wait three years to do this," said Stevenson."This is something, if we're going to do it we need to get into it now and get it to the forefront."

On Monday night, the board takes a closer look at the tiered plan they presented earlier and discuss the possibility of an advisory referendum for the spring but some people say they're not convinced that's the way to go.

"A spring referendum doesn't get you very many people who are going to come out and vote," said Stevenson.

As for any final decisions, board president Jeff Verdoorn said they still need to wait and see how the next few weeks go.

"The recommendation at this point is to essentially table further discussion on the budget until we get information from Governor Walker which we expect on February 22nd," said Verdoorn.

Verdoorn said the board appreciates feedback from the community and parents said they're glad the board is listening.

Verdoorn said usually board members spend the first school board meeting of the month in discussions, making plans to put into place by the second monthly school board meeting. Their next meeting will be on February 28th.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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