School district looks ahead to another tough budgetWith the 2009-10 school budget finalized, the Hudson School District is looking ahead to next year and more of the same when it comes to increased costs and reduced revenue.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
With the 2009-10 school budget finalized, the Hudson School District is looking ahead to next year and more of the same when it comes to increased costs and reduced revenue.
Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten and Communications Specialist Tracy Habisch-Ahlin outlined a plan for school board members that will look for ways to reduce the 2010-11 budget. The plan calls for participation and input from staff, parents, students and community members. The plan will consider reductions in all areas including programs, operations and staff.
The plan, which is being reviewed by board members, will include focus groups of staff members, parent groups, community organizations such as Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce and district principals and administrators as well as board members.
Once the budget reduction process has been established, the findings will be made public via the district’s Web site as well as in the Star-Observer.
The superintendent said that it is expected that the financial picture for the district next year could be worse. She said the district should anticipate further cuts in state education aid and reminded the board that the $1.1 million in stimulus money received this year was a one-time deal. She said that even with $2.3 million in budget reductions for this year, the school tax levy increased by 6 percent.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said it will be difficult to make any further cuts in the district’s operating budget without “touching staff.” The district’s payroll accounts for close to 80 percent of the operating budget. She said staff reductions would be the most difficult of the budget cuts under consideration but that the district also had to be mindful of the impact of an increased levy on taxpayers. Any staff layoff notices must be distributed before May 1.
School board president Dan Tjornehoj said the process should not include any presumptions about staff or any other budget reductions.
The superintendent advised the board that the financial services office is also working on a three-year budget forecast using both available information and some projections that will support the annual budget process.
At the same meeting, the school board approved expenditures in the amount of $1,723,587.81. It was also reported that district staff members and teachers have been invited to present at several conferences including:
For more information about the Hudson School District go to www.hudson.k12.wi.us. or phone (715)377-3700.