WAUSAU (WAOW) -- School may be out for the summer, but school leaders crunch numbers to make up for millions of dollars cut from the state budget. Wausau School District officials said they face a loss of five million dollars this upcoming year, which sets them back to the state funding they received back in 2002. Cherna Gorder with the Wausau School District said three million dollars will be made up through employees paying for their benefits.
"About 500 thousand from utilities, with our energy saving projects, and the remaining 1.5 million from the savings from retiring employees, versus hiring new employees," said Gorder.
She said about 25 employees retired this year, which will help save about 1-point-5 million dollars. Meanwhile, the DC Everest School District has the same challenge with four million dollars in cuts.
"But more so we're concerned about the changes in the long run, cutting an additional 3.5 million dollars to our budget, just means that people need to understand, that we can't be everything to everybody, and we need to prioritize what's most important for our students," said Superintendent Kristine Gilmore.
Superintendent Kristine Gilmore said in addition to employees paying for half their retirement plans, they will also have to pay out of pocket for their insurance.
"They will be paying 5.8 percent which is half of their retirement, which is equivalent to about 1 point seven million dollars" said Gilmore.
Despite the cuts to funding, school leaders said they will continue to focus on what's best for their students'