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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Village Buzz - February 27th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Germantown Schools Update...

The Germantown Education Association presented its "final offer" as it said it would, and the school board found it called for "unaffordable salary increases".  It is now expected that the Wisconsin Employment Relations Council (WERC) will declare that the talks are deadlocked.  It is then assumed that the board will proceed with the QEO process.

There seems to be some job actions that included teachers at Amy Belle not participating in PTA functions.  Citizens spoke to ask that the board "go back to the table", while another told the board to "stick to your guns".  Tom Wilcox has said that a QEO solution will not make the job actions go away, so it will remain to be seen how this will all play out.

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The contract issue with Administrators appears to have been resolved with language specific to "WEAC insurance" being removed and replaced with the generic "benefits program".  All but four of those under this contract have received renewal contract offers, and the four who are "off cycle" will likely receive those shortly prior to their contract expiration dates.  The change in language will permit competitive benefit proposals to be introduced in the discussions and that might save money that could go into administrators' pockets instead of to an insurance company.

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An offer was received from some entity or person to purchase the School Administration building but that information is being held in confidence.  There are remaining questions concerning program offerings in the six schools and it is felt that, until these issues are resolved, the board will not be anxious to conclude a deal on the building.

Board members have said that they'd be very comfortable meeting in the schools around the district.  Offices and facilities for the administration would obviously be needed if the building were to be sold.

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Stimulus funds are expected for the school district although the amount is unknown at the moment.  Whatever the amount, that money would be useful for local property tax relief depending upon what is done at the state level.  The revenue cap law says that "total operating revenue" is capped, so one-time funds such as this would potentially cause the local rate to be reduced for that time period.  This could all be different, I suspect, if there were to be some fairly precise uses ascribed to these dollars over which the board had little or no control.

Given the expected budget shortfall, the likelihood that teacher positions will need to be cut remains very real.

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Against this backdrop, remember that your vote is critical on April 7th when the two at-large board seats will be decided.

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