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State budget plan, teacher pact top Ellsworth referendum meet

The latest developments affecting the district's budget and reported by Superintendent Barry Cain colored a special Ellsworth School Board public information meeting Thursday on the upcoming referendum.

Answering his own question--what's going on in Madison?--Cain told how collective bargaining has been dismissed as a factor toward the governor's budget repair bill proposal. State Department of Public Instruction models, along with input from Baird and Associates consultants, show the Ellsworth district losing approximately $1 million in revenue limit under Gov. Scott Walker's plan. Meantime, local aid would also decrease by around seven percent, bringing funding to the district down from the $9 million range of recent years to $8.7 million.

Cain explained public schools are supposed to make up the loss through the collective bargaining change, but he emphasized aid is decreasing more than the revenue limit. What that means is the local taxpayer will pay more of schools' cost.

"I believe taxes here will either stay the same or slightly increase," he said about the educational support situation as it presently appears.

Then the superintendent announced a tentative agreement between the school board and local teachers that would impact the district's financial picture dramatically.

Read more in the print version of the Herald March 16.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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