The 2015 WGSD Annual Meeting will be held Monday, September 28th, at 6:00 PM in the Evergreen Elementary School Multi-Media Area. In recent years the district’s annual meeting usually meant a late evening for attending citizens, because it was held immediately following a regularly scheduled board meeting. Thanks to a motion last year by community member Jim Hutchison, this year’s meeting was required to be held on a separate date.
The data table above shows that the school board has already approved, for presentation to the community, a 2015-16 budget that freezes the local school tax levy.
Posted by Matt Kranich on 9/27/2015
WGSD Parent and Board Member (Chair of Personnel and Finance Committee)
For several reasons, this year’s budget had to consider several challenges:
- State Aid Reduction of $550,000: As a result of losing 34 students last year and a slight increase in equalized property value, the district’s equalization state aid this year will be reduced by about $550K. Last year, in contrast, the district received an increase of $250K in equalization aid. Read my previous article called: Declining Enrollment and the “4K Effect”
- $0 Per-Pupil Increase: The state budget froze the per-pupil aid at last years levels, so there is no new money despite the rising cost of materials, transportation, energy, healthcare, staff salaries, etc. Last year, in contrast, the district received over $100K in new categorical aid that resulted from a $75 per-pupil increase.
Related School Board Action
- Four Year Old Kindergarten (4K): This year the district implemented its first ever district-wide 4K program. The program was put in place to improve student achievement and avoid another year of declining enrollment (see #1 above). The 4K program that is in place this year is estimated to generate close to $800,000 in additional state aid for the 2016-17 school year, and every year thereafter. After subtracting approximately $400,000 for the cost to run the 4K program, we can expect an annual surplus in equalized state aid of $400,000/year due to the implementation of WGSD’s districtwide 4K program.
- Health Insurance Renewal: This year the renewal for health insurance came in at 12%. Fortunately, we were able to reduce the renewal to low single digits, but only after taking serious looks at other insurance companies and plan options. As a result, we were able to reduce the resulting annual health insurance premium by $150,000 and remain with the same insurance company.
Who can attend? Who runs it? What do we vote on?
Anyone that is eligible to vote in WGSD school board elections is eligible to vote at the WGSD Annual Meeting. After introductions by Dawn Bleimehl, WGSD School Board President, there will be a report on school performance from Kathy Hoppe, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Following this report the electors (those eligible to vote) will select a person from the community to “chair” the remaining portions of the meeting. Once a meeting chair has been selected, the electors will review the meeting minutes from the previous year.
The main event at the annual meeting comes next, where we will view a budget presentation from Ed Brzinski, WGSD Superintendent. After the presentation residents will be able to ask Mr. Brzinski questions about the school budget. Typical action items are then as follows:
- Approving the school budget and adopting the school district tax levy
- Establish the salaries of school board members
- New Business
- Setting the date for the next annual meeting
The full agenda can be viewed at the WGSD BoardDocs website.