Note that the possible budget reduction documents are now attached as PDF files.

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE MENOMONIE AREA 

NOTICE OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION 
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE CENTER 
215 PINE AVENUE E., WISCONSIN 
MONDAY, APRIL 8 2024, 5:45 P.M. 

This meeting will be live-streamed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCq2Z68-Z717wExwN1mChOQ/streams 

AGENDA 

I. OPENING ITEMS 

A. Call to Order 

B. Roll Call and Quorum 

C. Pledge of Allegiance and Reading of Mission Statement 

D. Agenda Order and Approval/Revision 

E. Recommendations & Commendations 

F. Highlight on Youth 

G. Student Representative Communications 

H. Community Communications 

I. Revenue and Expenditure Reports for the Month Ended March 2024 

J. Monthly Employment Report (March 2024) 

II. CONSENT AGENDA 

A. Action to Approve Consent Agenda 

1. Minutes of a Regular Meeting of March 18, 2024 

2. Financial Reports for March 2024 

3. Donations Exceeding $1,000 for March 2024 

4. Approve National Travel for 2025 MHS Choir Trip 

Consent agenda was approved unanimously.

III. PERSONNEL CONSENT AGENDA 

A. Action to Approve Personnel Consent Agenda 

1. Resignations/Retirements 

2. Requests to Hire

Approved unanimously

IV. ACTION AGENDA 

A. Approve Revisions to Policy 343.1, Class Size 

This was approved unanimously by the board. 

B. Approve Staffing Plan for 2024-2025 

There was some discussion as to whether all of the positions should be approved. An amendment was made to drop the maintenance and accounting systems positions at this time, and reconsider them later after some of the other budget priorities are clearer. The amended motion failed 3-6 in a voice vote. 

The original motion approving all of the positions was then passed unanimously.

C. Approve SDMA Pay Scales and Employee Contracts for 2024-2025 

This includes a 4.1% increase for CPI for all staff. This does not include the Administrator's contract, which will be discussed later in closed session. The pays scales and contracts were approved 8-1. 

D. Approve 4K Programming Agreements 

The programming agreement was approved unanimously. 

E. Approve 2023-2024 Budget Revisions 

The budget revisions were approved unanimoously.

V. DISCUSSION ITEMS/POLICY REVIEW 

A. Clerk’s Report from Spring Election 

The clerks's report is attached. There will be three new board members at the next meeting. 

B. Review Annual Technology Department Report 

This is a report from the IT staff . It is attached to this article. Overall storage has been reduced slightly as thins have been cleared out since Google is now charging schools for storage. 

 

C. Discuss Preliminary Budget for 2024-25 and Potential Budget Reductions 

This was moved up into the action agenda to be able to discuss it before approving the budget revisions.

The numbers show there will be a $3 million deficit in the 2024-2025 budget.  A large number of possible budget reductions have been identified. The largest reduction  would be from closing Downsville and Knapp Elementary.  The board will review a large number of potential reductions..

The first level of reductions includes changes to how the district budgets. It is possible that some items have been over-estimated and the district has maintained a $250,000 cushion in the budget to allow for contingencies. 

The health insurance plan is self-funded and it is possible to remove the projected 3% increase in health insurance costs.

It is also possible to reduce the budget for heating - if fuel prices do not increase drastically.

There could be a $130,000 reduction from substitute teachers.

Other items are smaller budget reductions including eliminating the French classes since the French teacher is retiring. This would mean the district would only have one foreign language. 

The total level 1 reductions are $1.89 million. This includes a big reduction ($810,000) in the contributions to fund 46 - This is "kicking the can down the road" since it will mean deferring some capital expenses that were already planned.

Level 2 reductions include reducing increases in teacher salary and combining classes at Knapp and Downsville Elementary Schools. 

 

Possible cutting back of girls' gymnastics and boy's soccer. 

Eliminating field trips - probably not going to the environmental site in buses.

Eliminating the $100 allotment to teachers for consumables.

Increase of use fees for school facilities. 

To balance the budget it will be necessary to at least do all the level 1 and 2 cuts, and possibly some from level 3. 

Closing Knapp and Downsville is not on the level 1 and 2 lists mostly because it will be impossible to close them before next year. 

Superintendent Zydowsky made a contrast between how many of the referenda in the area passed, but Menomonie's did not.  This was primarily as a warning that things will not be getting better in the near future. 

The tiers of possible budget cuts will be published tomorrow on the school district's Board Docs, and will also be available here later in the day.

 

The Board will continue work and discussion on the preliminary budget for the 2024-25 school year. Specifically, the Board will review a list of possible reductions to the district budget and continue discussions about ways to reduce the projected deficit.

 

Also attached is a report about statewide referendum results from the spring election. The report notes that 86 school districts asked 93 referendum questions, with 52 school districts passing 57 questions.

 

Coupled with the February 20 election, 2024 results for school districts in the Big Rivers Conference include:

 

  • Chippewa Falls: $7.5 million/3 years operating (passed)
  • Menomonie: $4.2 million recurring operating (failed)
  • New Richmond: $113.7 million capital (passed)
  • River Falls: $3 million stepped-up over three years recurring operating (passed)
  • River Falls: $28 million capital (passed)
  • Eau Claire: Board voted for holding a referendum in November 2024, but the scope has not yet been determined

 

Other 2024 referendum results from the area include:

 

  • Boyceville: $18 million capital (passed)

D. Discuss Defeasance of Long-Term Debt 

E. Items Related to Next Meeting Dates, Board Committees, and Reports 

VI. CLOSED SESSION 

A proposal was made to table the closed session. and was approved. The meeting was adjourned. 

A. Action to move into closed session, for the purpose of considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility, pursuant to Section 19.85(1)(c), Wisconsin Statutes. 

B. Action to Approve Minutes of Closed Session on February 26, 2024

 C. Discuss and Consider 2024-2025 Contract for the District Administrator 

VII. ADJOURNMENT 

A. Action to Adjourn 

The agenda as noted above was posted more than twenty-four hours prior to the meeting date. The most up-to-date agenda information is available on the district website. This agenda is posted at the Menomonie Area School District Administrative Services Center, and on the district website at www.sdmanonline.com under the School Board link.

Steve Hanson
About

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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Comments

Daniel Paulson (not verified)

The school board must act in open session on any decisions made in closed session. It will not adjourn after the closed session unless it delays a vote on the contract for the district administrator.

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