The Southern Door Board of Education, on a five to one vote Monday evening, approved a resolution outlining the cuts that will be made if the referendum fails in November. The resolution indicates that the cuts will be needed to meet the projected deficit for the 2015/2016 school year. The board is asking voters to approve a plan to exceed the state imposed revenue cap by $390,000 on a one-time basis. Over the past decade, the district has seen its state aid decreased by $1.9 million, based on the current formula, and cuts have been made to meet yearly shortfalls. The $390,000 requested is intended to maintain current educational programming. In developing a list of projected cuts, the school board has taken a three tiered approach. The first tier includes staffing, programs and services that cannot be eliminated because of mandates and the district’s accountability related to the state report cards. However, the second and third tier cuts would affect everything from athletics to the arts to technical education and many academic and extracurricular choices.
In order to fill the budgetary gap should the referendum fail, the Southern Door school board proposes reductions in staff in custodial/maintenance, transportation, clerical and administrative areas, a reduction in athletic costs by consolidating with other districts for specific sports or outright elimination of sports offerings, cuts in staffing in the areas of art, music and physical education, a reduction in middle school staffing with the elimination of family consumer and health and technology education, as well as such electives as agriculture, computer applications, ecology and extended studies, and a reduction of high school staff in the areas of agriculture, business education, family consumer education, spanish and technology education, along with a number of electives. It was pointed out that since April of 2013, cuts were made in the second and third tiers of programming. Savings were also achieved by freezing wages, reducing staff benefits, restructuring positions, implementing efficiencies and increasing student fees.