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Green Bay School District roll out 2012-13 budget proposal


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay school district officials rolled out their 2012-13 budget proposal Monday. 

After projecting a $9 million deficit last November, this plan provides a balanced budget. 

"We did not have to cut programs – we did not have to increase class sizes," said School Board President Debra Warren.

"We have a lot of good data,” said District Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld of the 2012-2013 district budget proposal. “So we continue those data points as we talk about moving forward for the future."

The budget will be brought forward at a special meeting of the Board of Education at 6:30 pm Monday where it will be presented, reviewed and asked to be approved.

The total expected expenditures for the 2011-2012 school year are projected at $237.8 million.

The district says most of the savings comes from saving about $5 million because of changes to employee health benefits, $1.2 million in retirement costs, $900,000 in savings from support staff reductions and about $400,000 in salary freezes.

Much that was possible because of the controversial Act 10 reforms that stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining powers.

FOX 11 spoke with Green Bay Education Association President Lori Cathey Monday afternoon.

As many of the teachers union members were directly affected by the reforms, she says the union doesn't wish to comment on the budget until it has a chance to look at it.

While there may have been savings on the district end, taxpayers could see their tax rate go up if the 2012-2013 budget proposal is adopted October 22.

Taxpayers won't see any change to the tax levy – which will stay the same as last year’s budget at $80.6 million. But the equalized tax rate could go up by 37-cents per thousand dollars of valuation. For a typical homeowner it's roughly $40 to $50 more per year – almost 4 percent.

For example, if you own a $100,000 dollar home, you paid $1,002.00 in property taxes for school purposes in the 2011-2012 budget. Under the budget proposal that would go up $37.00 to $1039.00.

"I feel that there is some movement that is a positive for the taxpayer and I'm glad to see it,” Rich Carlstedt of the Brown County Taxpayers Association told FOX 11. “But there's a still a lot more work to be done."

More specifically with the Community Service Fund.

In this budget round, the district says it reduced the CSF tax levy funding by $435,788 by reducing truancy and social services officers.

But Carlstedt says more needs to be done.

"There's other items that were in there that should not be in the community service fund that should reduce the tax load on the citizens of Green Bay and Brown County."

"There is no real definitive explanation of what should be in the Community Service Fund,” explained GBAPS Chief Financial Officer Alan Wagner. “We have looked at the items in there and we have removed the last 2 or 3 years, items that were felt that maybe don't meet the explanation."

A public meeting to discuss it will be held at 6:30 pm on October 8 in the district headquarters board room. A public hearing will be held prior to the adoption of the budget during the regular board meeting on October 22, starting at 6:30 pm.