By Bob Peryea


The Elkhorn School Board met June 24, to discuss preliminarily approval of the 2013-14 district budget.

The Wisconsin State Budget, which was approved by Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday, will increase per pupil spending by $150. This amount will be reduced by $50 per pupil that the state will be reclaiming from last year’s aid.

The school district had already accounted for this figure in the budget.

“You will get to revisit the budget in October to approve tax levy,” District Administrator Greg Wescott reminded the school board. “Especially if we get more state aid than is planned for.”

“If we were going to receive an additional $100,000 in state aid, we will have $100,000 less in tax levy,” William Trewyn, district business manager said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the preliminary budget and to present the budget at the school district’s annual meeting.

In other matters, the board voted to approve new 2013-14 professional and staff handbooks.

At the June 18 school board special meeting, board member Carol Burton asked if the district could recognize partners in the same way that spouses are recognized.

Wescott recommended that the board’s personnel committee research the question over the next year.

“If the board is interested developing criteria, it should be studied through the personnel committee to come up with criteria for a definition of partnership,” Wescott said. “If we are extending benefits, we want to do so in a way that will protect our taxpayers.”

The new handbook will go into effect on July 1. The board agreed not to alter them during the year.

The board also voted to approve Wendy Ellsworth to become a fourth grade teacher at West Side Elementary. She will occupy a position that was moved from Jackson Elementary due to low student population.

Ellsworth spent the last year as a substitute at Westside and has children in the school district. She recently went back to school to earn a second degree and her teaching certificate. She is a former PTA president. This will be her first full-time teaching position.

The board also voted to approve salary increases for several different groups in the district.

Board members approved a 2.29 percent increase for administration, 1.7 percent for supervisors and 1.5 percent for central office employees. By contrast, most other staff in the district received a 2 percent increase in the budget.

Finally, the school board bid a tearful farewell to Wescott.

The district administrator is retiring after 16 years with the district. He thanked the current school board and all of the board members that have gone before for their commitment.

Wescott received a standing ovation from the board and everyone in attendance.


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