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Menomonee Falls School Board talks budget, layoffs

March 12, 2012

Although approximately 60 preliminary layoff notices will be sent to teachers working for the Menomonee Falls School District, between seven to 12 full-time employees will actually be laid off in May.

It will still be a few weeks before the exact number of preliminary layoff letters will be known, said Christiane Standlee, director of human resources for the district, during the School Board meeting Monday. Receiving a letter notification of a preliminary layoff is not a final notice. The district first has to determine seniority before knowing who will retain their positions.

This can be difficult because of dual certifications. For example, an instructor certified to teach English could also be certified to teach kindergarten. This instructor may not have seniority in English, but may in kindergarten.

"There are a lot of criteria we have to look through," Standlee said.

Depending on certification, between seven to 12 full-time teachers will be laid off.

Superintendent Patricia Greco said this will be the last budget cycle that seniority is used when going through a reduction period.

"Seniority sunsets this year and next year layoff will be based on performance so this will be a very different discussion we will be having here next year," said board member Lori Blodorn.

The layoff discussion came in light of a discussion of the 2012-2013 preliminary budget. The budget process is an 18-month period. The projected budget for the 2012-2013 school year is $46,307,757, which is a reduction of approximately 1 percent from the current budget year. State and federal aid are also projected to decrease, Greco said.

During the meeting, the board discussed key leverage areas, such as energy efficiency. Greco said the district will have a balance budget.

The preliminary budget also takes a look at reductions focused on efficient and effective planning. For example, the budget lays out a reduction in long-term liability for retirement benefits, which would equal a net savings of 7 percent, increase retiree contribution and plan a reduction in benefits.

The preliminary budget will also be reviewed at the March 26 and April 23 board meetings. Action on the budget will take place April 23.

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