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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the impact of the governor’s state budget proposal on the SASD?
The district’s initial calculations show a potential loss of $13.6 million for next school year. This is our current estimate of what the district loses through reductions in state aid, along with the funding the governor proposed to eliminate for AODA grants, transportation aid, the Children-at-Risk aid, and other programs.

What is the estimated saving to the district of all employees contributing 5.8% to their retirement?
Approximately, $3.8 million will be recouped by district employees paying the employee portion of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) payment.

How does the Early Retirement Incentive offered to teachers affect the budget deficit?
45 teachers took advantage of the early retirement incentive. At this time, we are not replacing any of those positions, which equates to $4.5 million in savings the first year. The savings will be ongoing. The district guaranteed no teacher layoffs if at least 30 teachers retired. The district is honoring that agreement.

Would more retirements before April 1 have any impact on the budget shortfall?
If there are additional savings they would be in addition to the $4.5 million stated above.

Why is there a salary increase figured into the $13.6 million budget deficit?
The initial budget projection included a potential salary increase because, under the Budget Repair Bill, employees would be allowed to negotiate for a wage/salary increase up to the current CPI. SASD estimated that to be a 1.6% increase, and included that increase in the budget shortfall projection.

Is the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) payment for employees taken pre- or post-tax?
Employees’ payment to the WRS will be post-tax.

What is the estimated savings to the district if all employees contribute 12% to their health insurance?
Approximately, over $800,000 will be recouped by district employees paying 12% of their health insurance premiums.

Will the SASD be cutting 4 year old Kindergarten (4K) and closing the Early Learning Center?
No, this is only a rumor. The governor’s proposed budget does not cut funding to 4K. This district supports the findings of the committee to keep the ELC open to provide 4K programming.

What programs will be cut due to cut funding from the proposed budget?
At this time, we are still working to determine what programs and/or services will be reduced or eliminated. Administrative recommendations will be presented to the Board at the April 26th board meeting.

Is the SASD closing a school?
No, no schools will be closed for the 2011-12 school year. There is an Elementary and Middle School Evaluation Committee convening to study and recommend future changes.

Will all employees be required to have a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA)?
Under the Memorandums of Understanding, four employee groups agree to participate in a health risk appraisal during the fall of the 2011-2012 school year. Failure to participate will raise their individual health insurance premium to 15% the following school year (encouraged by the Budget Repair Bill but not required).

Which employee groups have agreed to Memorandums of Understanding for the 2011-2012 school year and what are the main concessions?
Memorandums of Understanding were agreed upon by four employee groups – the SEA, Secretaries, Electronics/Electricians, Educational Assistants
  • Concessions agreed to equal $6.5 million in savings
  • All groups agreed to a wage freeze and waived their right to negotiate salary based on the CPI as allowed by the Budget Repair Bill for the 2011-2012 school year. (Approximate savings of $900,000)
  • Lane and step increases are frozen.
  • All groups will pay 5.8% or one half of the Wisconsin Retirement System contribution, as required by the Budget Repair Bill.
  • All groups will pay 12% toward their health insurance premiums, as required by the Budget Repair Bill.
  • The Sheboygan Education Association also agreed to end the emeritus retirement program effective June 30, 2011 and to provide administration greater flexibility in the assignment of teachers.

Why are employees paying 12% of insurance premiums, instead of 12.6%?
Under the Budget Repair Bill, local municipalities which are self-insured, including school districts like the Sheboygan Area School District, may require employees to pay 12% of the insurance premiums. State employees may be required to pay 12.6% of their premium.

Why did the SASD approve Memorandums of Understanding with union groups before the Budget Repair Bill became law?
By moving to approve the Memorandums before the bill became law, the SASD was able to save approximately $900,000 by locking in salary freezes. Memorandums agreed upon met and exceeded the requirements of the Budget Repair Bill.

Is it true that the budget shortfall cannot be passed on to local taxpayers through an increased property tax levy?
Technically, that is correct.  However, that doesn’t mean that the individual taxpayer’s taxes won’t increase.  The district revenue cap levy, where the budget shortfall will occur, is frozen and cannot be increased.  The tax levy outside the revenue caps can be increased and therefore they will see an increased property tax levy—although not caused by the shortfall.

When do the insurance and retirement (WRS) payments begin for employees?

July 1, 2011. Exceptions: Administrators and non-union employees will pay their portion of the WRS beginning April 1, 2011. Custodial/Maintenance and Hearing Interpreter groups begin paying July 1, 2012 (at the end of their current contracts).

Will there be staff cuts or layoffs?
Unfortunately, due to the significant revenue reductions, the district will have to review staff in order to develop a balanced budget.

Do you have a question that is not answered here?

Please send your questions to us at superintendents-office@sheboygan.k12.wi.us


updated Thursday, March 24