SHAWANO, Wis. (WFRV) – With five new board members and a new superintendent, the Shawano school board is nearly unrecognizable compared to this time last year.
“We have a dynamic group of former educators, community leaders, and just people that are going to do a great job,” said school board president Mike Musolff.
Monday night was the first school board meeting with all five new school board members present.
“I’m 100 percent confident (that the new board can get the district going in the right direction),” said Musolff. “This is a great group of people I have confidence in everybody at the board level and I value their opinions when I make decisions and I’m sure everybody else will value everybody else’s opinions.”
Kurt Krizan, who was the Director of Instruction and Personalized Learning for Shawano School District, is now the interim superintendent. One of his biggest tasks right now is cranking out a budget for this school year.
Facing a projected $2 million budget deficit for this year, previous administrators had cut teachers and considered closing a school building which led to backlash from the community.
In a presentation to community members on Monday night, Krizan had some good news about what the budget for the 2022-2023 school year will look like.
“Tonight we’re presenting a balanced budget using some one-time funds to help us balance the budget but we are going to have to look long term at what are some of those areas that we are going to have to address,” said Krizan.
He noted that the district creates a preliminary budget over the summer, but the numbers could change by the end of October when they must finalize the budget.
He told Local Five News that total revenues and other financing sources for this school year are down this year compared to last because enrollment in the district has declined. The number of students in a district determines how much state funding the district gets.
In the general fund, school district officials plan to get $1.8 million less in revenue than last year, but they will spend about $1.4 million less this year. School district administrators did note that they will receive more money for special education this year.
Krizan said the district will spend less money this year compared to last by not filling some open positions they have within the district.
“When we have all those conversations about where we need to spend money the student is in the forefront of our conversations making sure they have the best experience,” said Krizan.
Krizan said that some of his goals for the school year are improving communication between the board, administration, and teachers and making sure that administrators are visiting the classrooms and doing community events.
He and Musolff said they are student focused and doing whatever they can to give teachers the support and resources they need to give the kids the best educational experience possible.
“Always (a goal) with our budget is to make sure we’re being fiscally responsible for our taxpayers and to make sure we’re presenting a balanced budget and making sure we’re making decisions that are going to have the most impact on our students and our communities,” said Krizan.
“The community the staff and the board and every stakeholder involved wants to see our kids succeed and we want to see that happen in an expedient manner,” said Musolff.