Monday, August 1, 2011
Walker's Budget Repair Bill: School Savings Come out of the Pockets of Teachers
Saving schools money? Yes, but budget repair bill doesn’t offset state cuts. (La Crosse Tribune, 7/31/2011)
Excerpt: In some local districts, the state aid cuts were far more brutal than any benefit obtained by the budget repair bill, school officials said. Local districts are resorting to layoffs and ending positions vacated by recent retirements or resignations. School officials are combining classes and slashing funds set aside for things like technology and school supplies to compensate for a loss that isn’t fully realized by altering staff contracts.
The new law did not yield significant savings for those school districts that already required teachers to contribute 12 percent or more to their health plans, as was the case with several Coulee Region districts.
“We were able to balance our budgets with the sacrifices made by our employees,” West Salem Superintendent Troy Gunderson said. “What cost will there be to the relationship you have with your employees? And to the profession?”
The savings from the law come directly out of the wallets of teachers, he said, which could eventually strain the relationship between faculty and administration.