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West Bend-Mallard School Board Meets With State Budget Committee

By Staff | May 15, 2008

Editor’s Note: The following story was provided to The Democrat courtesy of Karen Schwartzkopf of the West Bend Journal.

The past week has been culmination of a stressful and trying time for members of the Board of Education, staff and residents of the West Bend-Mallard Community School District dealing with staff reductions, the immediate resignation of Superintendent Dr. John Phillips and Monday’s unsuccessful meeting with the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC).

Over the past several weeks the WBM Administration and School Board have been working on staff reductions to reduce the $326,552 over-spent budget. Board President Pat Madsen has stated several times that the WBM board will continue to review the budget in an effort to maximize the finances of the school district and attempt to hold personnel reductions at minimum while concentrating upon maintaining the highest quality education possible.

At Monday’s meeting in Des Moines with the SBRC, WBM was represented by President Pat Madsen and Carla Montag Board Secretary/Business Manager. In their presentation they showed where additional sharing and personnel cuts from the March meeting were being implemented. Along with six of seven board members present and nearly 20 concerned citizens and Senator Jack Kibbie and Representative Marcie Frevert also attended showing their support for the school district demonstrated that the community is aware of the financial challenges facing the district and is supportive of the present board’s efforts.

In their denial of the Modified Allowable Growth monies, the SBRC did recommend to the board that they take a serious look at their actions and seek a third party to review the financial options for the district. It was also stated clearly that a Phase II audit may well happen and should be viewed as a tool for improvement. The School Budget Review Committee also assured the WB-M School Board that they are not looking to close West Bend-Mallard School.

WB-M School Board President, Pat Madsen, had this to say about not receiving the Modified Allowable Growth monies, “We had a glimmer of hope, so we went for it. Not every battle is won in the game of life. The WB-M Board will step back, regroup their thoughts and come up with other plans. We are not going to give up, and we will persevere.”

The WB-M School Board wishes to thank the community for the support they have shown the past weeks, also for the letters of support written to the SBRC Committee. A special thank you to everyone that attended Monday’s meeting Your presence was recognized and appreciated.