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Wausau schools to make $1.6 million in cuts


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – The Wausau school district needs to cut $1.6 million from next year's budget.

The school board spent Monday night identifying where those cuts might come from and what impact reducing the number of teachers, coaches and extra curricular activities will have on the district.

“This is really going to be hard,” Superintendent Kathleen Williams said during a roundtable discussion at Franklin Elementary school.

Board members and administrators, including building principals, reviewed 53 possible cuts. The line items have not been formally suggested as cuts this year. Instead, they represent areas where district officials wanted more information about the potential impact of making such a cut.

“There isn't anything on that list that isn't important that we don't value,” Williams said. “But ultimately we have to make some very tough choices.”

Among the budget items the board reviewed:

-Saving $450,000 if an estimated 15 teachers retire from the district at the end of the 2011 school year

-Saving up to $250,000 through administrative retirements or restructuring

-Cutting nine high school teachers because of declining enrollment

-Reducing or eliminating athletic budgets

The school board will hold three days of meetings with community members this spring to identify key budget priority areas, Williams said.

Final approval of the budget is expected in October when the board will also set its 2011-2012 tax levy.