Marshfield School Board plans public forum for reduction list
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield School Board has planned two public listening sessions to acquire feedback regarding the proposed budget reduction list.
The reduction list was assembled to address the shortfall in the budget that would occur if the Nov. 8 referendum, asking voters to exceed state levy limits by $3 million a year, is not approved.
“Mr. (Pat) Saucerman, the director of business, has quite an elaborate system that has been used in the district for several years,” explained Dee Wells, Marshfield School District superintendent. “First of all, we really look at things as an administrative group from what’s most important, what hits the kids the most.
“That’s not to say that anything we do within the district is not important. It’s just that some things are imperative, and some things are required by federal law or state law. There is a lot more that goes into it.
“Once that list is developed, it is set aside. Then the staff in the district is given the opportunity to submit any suggestions or ideas that they have to their principals.”
Items are weighed for their impact on the district students, and the newly assembled list is brought before the Finance Committee.
During the Sept. 14 school board meeting, Amber Leifheit, on behalf of the Finance Committee, made a request to obtain public feedback on the proposed list, which includes cuts in programs, staff, and maintenance.
“As far as the referendum goes, getting the word out about the proposed cuts is so important. People need to know what will be gone and how important this referendum is to Marshfield,” said Leifheit. “Every item on that reduction list is important to our schools. I would find it impossible to decide which programs mean more than others.”
Two public listening sessions have been scheduled to obtain input from the public.
“They are Thursday, Sept. 29, and Monday, Oct. 3. They are both scheduled for 6 p.m., and they will both be held in the Marshfield High School library,” said Wells.
“I think the referendum is also a question of economic development,” said Leifheit. “Studies have shown good schools help attract and retain businesses and employees. In addition, other studies have shown that the quality of the schools affect everyone’s property value. We all benefit from good schools.”
“There is nothing on this list that isn’t of value to the district,” added Wells.
For more information on the reduction list and how to access a breakdown of the list, view Hub City Times’ Sept. 19 video interview with Wells here.