SHULLSBURG — The Shullsburg School District faces uncharted waters as student enrollment declines and the state’s biennial budget creates the perfect storm.
At the Aug. 31 budget hearing, Shullsburg School District Administrator Loras Kruser said declining enrollment at the school is part of the district’s budget problem. The three-year, 2007-10 membership average of 363 exceeds the 2008-11 membership average of 354. At the meeting the district anticipated 361 students for 2011-12.
The expenses are estimated to be $3,917,206 with revenues at $3,858,204, a difference of $59,002.
Board member Emmett Reilly said the decisions the board has made in the past have led to the deficit.
“We knew the revenues were going to go down,” Reilly said. “We had 30 years of increases… Somewhere that was going to end.”
Kruser said the tools Governor Scott Walker gave the schools to balance the 2011-12 budget will lead to a “perfect storm.”
“Here is the issue you as the board are going to be faced with,” Kruser said. “A $59,000 deficit is manageable… The issue is what is going to happen the second year of this biennial budget. It is my understanding that we are also going to lose again, something in the neighborhood of 5.4 percent.”
Kruser said the district won’t see any savings next year without doing something different.
Kruser said this year the teachers will be contributing 5.8 percent ($117,000) toward benefits and 12 percent ($86,654) for insurance savings for a total of $203,654 in district savings.
The 2011-12 budget reduces the expenses by $108,082.85 (2.7 percent).
“We should be sitting pretty good, one would think,” Kruser said.
The school’s proposed revenue limit decreased $257,075 or 7.2 percent.
“We lost a little more than we saved,” Kruser said.
The school also faces a 9.39 percent projected revenue decrease for a loss of $399,709.
“It’s not only the state that’s messing with us, it’s the federal government as well,” Kruser said.
Kruser said the district’s estimated tax levy is $1,320,230, an increase of .01 percent from last year.
Accurate equalized valuation numbers will be calculated in October.
Kruser said the district should be debt-free in April 2015.