Schools Across The State Using Budget Repair Bill Reforms To Save Money

School districts are already saving money as a result of the reforms included in 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, the budget repair bill.  The Kaukauna School District in the Fox River Valley reported that they were facing a deficit of $400,000 before Act 10 went into effect.  Now, the district has announced that they are looking at a $1.5 million surplus thanks to the reforms enacted by the State Legislature.

The district stated that they were able to negotiate with WEA Trust, a health insurance provider run by WEAC, the state’s largest teacher’s union, to reduce health insurance premiums. Additionally, $1.2 million of the school district’s savings came from the increased contributions by employees into their health insurance and pension.

The Kaukauna School District also reported that they anticipate smaller class sizes, from 31 to 26 students in high school and 26 to 23 students in elementary school, as well as the possibility of more one on one time with teachers.

Other school districts are using these cost-saving tools to save taxpayer money and be more efficient as well.  The Menomonee Falls School Board recently announced that they approved new contracts last month that saved $2.4 million by switching to a new health insurance provider.  The Hartland-Lakeside district also reported that they switched their health insurance provider from WEA Trust to United Healthcare, saving their district $690,000.

5 Responses

  1. Bruce Hoby

    Please don’t stop there Sheila. Cutting teacher’s and state workers salaries even more can only be good for we the taxpayers. For far too long these thugs and parasites have been over paid and under worked.

    Congratulations and go Sheila go!

  2. Scott Erlenborn

    Very misleading article. It is well documented that because district’s health care expenditure records are not available to bidding health care Insurance providers that the short term savings in year one are followed by double digit increases in subsequent years. Sheila, you are the master of all things half true.

  3. Kathleen Struble

    Sen. Harsdorf,
    Yes! You have voted to help schools in OTHER districts to save money! BRAVO! Here is how you are helping one of the households in your district :
    I work in the New Richmond School District as a paraeducator (I have my degree in education.) I make just over $19,000 anually. I do not receive health insurance however I received an insurance stipend of $448 monthly in lieu of a policy as I couldn’t afford the $1,400 monthly policy. As a result of your “tools,” I have lost my stipend and will contributing my 5.8%. This amount totals to $6,669.

    You see Senator, I do not mind paying my fair share. I think contributing 5.8% is more than fair. However, as you can see I am paying MUCH more than my fair share.

    Please allow me to introduce you to my family members:
    Mark-Actively seeking employment for 51 weeks. Degree in Business Management and Supervisory Management.

    Marcus-6th grade-wants to be an artist or a science teacher. GPA 3.67 Asperger’s-COMPLETELY UNINSURABLE. Unable to receive needed therapy.

    Myself-Kathleen 6 years of college education-Epilepsy, $374 per month in medication-COMPLETELY UNINSURABLE. I haven’t seen my neurologist in 16 months. I don’t teach because I needed to be a mom to a child with Autism.

    Please tell me Senator Harsdorf, how EXACTLY are you helping my family?

    Regards,
    Kathleen Struble

  4. Tim

    Thanks Sheila,

    I appreciate what you are doing to impact cost saving measures across the state. @Kathleen….there are plenty of places in St Croix County hiring. My brother was unemployed for 7 months and is now working in Hudson making 40,000/year at a retail job. Maybe its time to start looking for other employment instead of “the dream job”. Sounds to me like you arent doing anything for your own situation. There are many companies in Hudson and St Croix County that are hiring. Your family might have to work up the ladder again…sounds like there are too many jobs that are “beneath” your husbands experience.

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