Last night the Waukesha school board approved cuts in music programs, gifted and talented, some elementary school guidance counselors, a few teachers and librarians to save $3.4 million in next year’s budget as enrollment shrinks and teacher salary and benefits continue to eat a larger proportion of the budget.
“I do really believe that this district is in a total tailspin now,” school board Vice President Joseph Como Jr. said. “As a result of this, over the years crime is going to go up, property values are going to drop and I can’t see employers wanting to hire anyone who comes out of these schools.”
Class sizes in all grades will rise by two children, eliminating 27 classroom teachers. Elementary band and orchestra, technology resource teachers, a reduction in special education teaching staff and the elimination of an energy program manager will also take effect at the beginning of the 2007-08 school year.
Como’s hyperbole aside (he forgot “Dogs and Cats sleeping together”), it will be next year when the administration proposes the cuts that will push a campaign for a new referendum: athletics and other extracurriculars.
Meanwhile, the Waukesha Freeman runs my latest column about the show of force by every education spending group Monday night, and how there was nothing educational about the education forum. I want to add that, given the rude behavior of some of the teachers near me, I wonder if sending my child to the Waukesha Schools is like sending Frodo Baggins to be educated by the Orcs.