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Report: schools passed costs onto employees to make up for state cuts

School budget graphic
School budget graphic

UNDATED (WSAU)  Wisconsin school boards made up for about two-thirds of their lost state aid by making employees pay more for their health insurance and pensions last year. That’s according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance in a new report to be released today. It said that school districts cut their spending on health and pensions by $287-million in the last school year. And that made up for 64-percent of the $451-million reduction in total state aid to Wisconsin’s public schools last year.

The Tax Alliance said the savings could have been greater. But a number of school districts – including Milwaukee – extended their previous teacher contracts to delay the terms of the collective bargaining limits adopted by state Republicans over a year-and-a-half ago.

In September a Dane County judge threw out the bargaining limits for public schools and local governments – but the higher health insurance and pension payments remain in effect. The state’s trying to overturn the judge’s ruling – and the issue is still pending in an appellate court.