Marshfield school officials approve cut list
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield school officials have identified a list of cuts that would have to be made if next month’s referendum is not approved. The board of education approved the list of reductions on Oct. 14. Superintendent Dr. Ryan Christianson told the board all of the items on the list have a direct impact on students.
The district has identified 37 budgetary line items that amount to $3.5 million, which is what the referendum is asking for from voters in November. Most of the cuts come in the form of staff reductions and a freeze on the salaries of those who remain. The cuts include the gifted & talented coordinator, one full-time social worker, a full-time school counselor, drivers education, the foreign language with the lowest enrollment – in this case, French – plus reductions to the Family and Consumer Education and Career and Technical Education departments.
A failed referendum would also mean the consolidation of the Advanced Placement and honors programs and the elimination of all middle school sports, which would be replaced with an intramural program.
The district is seeking $3.5 million each year on a recurring basis, essentially making the referendum permanent. Voters have said “yes” to five non-recurring referendum questions over the past 18 years.
Referendums to exceed state-imposed revenue limits have become “the norm” in Wisconsin, since the state capped levy limits in 1993. In the past two years alone, Wisconsin school districts have held 200 referendum votes to exceed revenue limits, and there are 45 more on November’s ballots statewide.
If the Marshfield referendum is successful, property owners would see the school district portion of their tax bill go up by 21 cents per thousand of assessed value.
Referendum-related documents and answers to frequently-asked questions can be found on the district’s website at marshfieldschools.org.