Governor Scott Walker says schools will be able to avoid massive layoffs. At a Capitol press conference, Governor Walker said the savings realized in the budget repair bill will enable school districts around the state to realize a net gain of nearly $79 million dollars despite cuts in shared revenues from the state. New Berlin Superintendent Paul Kreutzer commented. “We will not be laying off a single employee for financial reasons, in the fiscal year that we are about to encounter,” said Kreutzer. “That is drastically different than a year ago, when we were faced with laying off approximately 30 professional teaching staff.”
And Walker, whose office released a detailed analysis of savings schools and local governments could attain, said many school officials are supportive but afraid to speak out. “And I understand that. We’ve seen the pressure, we’ve experienced that,” said Walker. “The facts will set you free. The facts are clear, and the facts clearly show that there are more savings for school districts across the state, then there are net reductions.”
According to the analysis, school districts will see a $391.1 million reduction in shared revenues under Walker’s proposed two year budget, but could realize more than $488.7 million in savings due to greater employee contributions to health care and pension costs. Democrats in the state Assembly said Wednesday that Walker’s budget will force school districts to make deep cuts in education.