SHEBOYGAN, WI (WHBL) - The Sheboygan Area School District has a balanced preliminary budget. Meeting as a Committee of the Whole, the Board of Education approved the roughly 115-million dollar budget plan Tuesday evening.
Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Services Gretchen Thomes told the board the budget is balanced due to actions such as salary freezes for all staff members, changes to health and dental plans, cuts to staff levels and the closing of Washington Elementary.
She added this budget does not include the proposed 150-dollars per student increase in state aid. If that does become official in the state budget, Thomes said the district will have around 1.5-million dollars to add back to the budget, which could be used to reinstate some of the cuts already made.
The final budget will not be approved until all funding numbers are finalized this fall.
One action the board took as a Committee of the Whole will give employees a stipend thanks to surplus money in a health insurance account. The Board of Education, meeting as a Committee of the Whole, voted to approve the roughly 810-thousand dollar stipend. That money comes from a 3.2-million dollar positive budget variance from the district’s self-funded insurance fund balance.
Also part of that meeting, the board discussed a possible one-time early retirement option for certain employees. The roughly 140-thousand dollar option is designed to help the district with future retirement benefits. However, a decision was pushed back until the regular board meeting on the 25th so that a definative place for funding this can be decided.
Other actions the committee took included increasing meal prices by 10-cents next year for elementary and secondary students who pay full price, and to draft a resolution to voice their opposition to the school voucher and private school tax credits portions of the proposed state budget.