Cuts to Custodial, Secretarial Staff on Table as School District Begins Budget Process
School officials are in the early stages of creating Shorewood schools' financial map and closing a $400,000 budget gap for next year.
School officials are eyeing a reduction in custodial and secretarial staff, and decrease in teacher supervision of lunch and playground hours to bridge a $400,000 budget shortfall for next year.
Shorewood estimates the staff reductions and changes in supervision would provide between $140,000 and $220,000 in savings.
District administrators and the School Board started the budget process early this year, trying to wrap up by March or April. This would allow them to put their job listings up as early as possible, Business Manager Mark Boehlke said.
"We want to be ready for hiring really early, because the good ones go early," he said.
This year, the district benefited from an error made by the village assessor and saw a huge 25 percent boost in state aid from the previous year. But, the state can only decrease aid to a district by 15 percent per year.
"To be conservative, we are just working with 85 percent of what we got last year," Boehlke said.
Other recommendations included ending a safety stipend for a savings of nearly $4,000. Additionally, changing second-year teacher mentorships and contracting out cleaning work is also on the table, though savings haven't been attached to those recommendations as of yet.
Boehlke said one teacher retirement, coupled with other support staff leaving, will give the district about $60,000 in savings. He added he hasn't yet factored in Athletic Director Bill Haury's retirement.
Additionally, the district's Finance Committee has recommended a capped increase of 2 percent for total teacher salaries; with a financial model set at 3.5 percent, it would save the district about $130,000. Boehlke's office is also waiting to see what health premiums for the district's health insurance plan will be for next year.
Boehlke added officials are in the early stages of the budget process and have only mapped out possible cuts; additions will be presented soon.
School Board members also discussed reinstating programs that have been cut over the years like a first-grade Spanish program.
Officials hope to hold town hall meetings discussing the budget in February and present and vote on a preliminary budget in late March. The Shorewood School District's fiscal year coincides with the school year, ending July 1.