MILWAUKEE – In two years the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district, one of the state’s largest districts, overspent by $14 million, and now wants to shift administrative mismanagement and $2.1 million deficit onto taxpayers.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
The district has hired a new superintendent and says it has trimmed staff and department budgets. It recouped $10.5 million from a high-profile lawsuit, and it is selling and leasing buildings, and consolidating schools. Its fund balance is expected to rise to $6.5 million when it is next calculated on June 30.
In April, it will ask taxpayers in its modest communities to authorize an additional $12.5 million — or about $290 per student each year — beyond what they already pay in taxes for operating costs over the next five years.
Without the referendum, Superintendent Marty Lexmond says, the district may be forced to cut programs such as art and music and shelve ideas for new ones — a language-immersion school, for example, or a next-generation high school — that are designed to keep families in the district.
“All of those ideas take money,” said Lexmond, who took over as superintendent in 2015, a year after his predecessor, Kurt Wachholz, abruptly retired under pressure from the school board.
“We can’t spend all our efforts cutting things. We have to build new things so we can attract families and keep families here,” he said.
For more visit, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.