The preliminary budget for the 2018-19 school year was presented to board members during Monday’s meeting.
No action was taken on next year’s budget, which is projected as a balanced budget. Superintendent Joe Zydowsky said that while it is balanced, there are still many pieces to the budget that are still unknown.
He said student enrollment will play a factor in the budget, which will not be known until September. The preliminary budget will be considered by the board in June and community members can voice their opinions and/or concerns during the annual meeting in August. A final budget will be approved in October.
The preliminary budget includes $250,000 in the contingency fund, an increase of $100,000 from previous years. Zydowsky said the increase is better suited to the district’s $40 million budget and may soften the blow for a potentially tighter 2019-2020 budget.
As the board prepares for a new district strategic plan, the budget is projected to set aside $50,000 towards anticipated expenses, which would include hiring a facilitator and collecting feedback from the community through digital means.
The School District of the Menomonie Area (SDMA) may also be assisting UW-Stout in repairing its football field turf, the location of all Menomonie High School football home games. The early budget projects a 15 percent contribution of $100,000.
In another matter, the school board unanimously approved the 2018-19 Menomonie Middle School staffing plan which includes the reallocation of 3.5 full time teachers who were recently hired to reduce class sizes.
Zydowsky said that between retirements and a few one-year emergency contract hires, he does not anticipate any employees being laid off in the process.
“We know there’s going to be a lot of shuffling and some domino effects,” Zydowsky said. “We want to be as fair as we can ... we should be able to do this without laying anyone off.”
Zydowksy added that the process has been a collaborative effort with middle school staff.