TOMAHAWK - A shrinking school district means shrinking taxes for Tomahawk. Last night the district approved a budget that will decrease the tax levy by more than seven percent.
Superintendent Dr. Roger Rindo says they've never been able to lower the levy in the five years he's been there. A combination of things contributed to this year's lower budget.
"We're a declining enrollment district, so we have fewer students which requires fewer teachers. We've been able to reduce budgets through attrition with some retirements and that's been very helpful. Otherwise all the low hanging fruit from a budget reduction standpoint is gone so we had to take a closer look at all of our programs and see what we can do to operate more efficiently with the dollars we have," says Dr. Rindo.
The nearly $1 million they've saved this year means each household in Tomahawk will save nearly $60 per $100,000 of income.
Dr. Rindo does say there are some things they'd like to spend money on in the future.
"We've been able to do what we can with technology in our classrooms. We certainly would like to accelerate that at a quicker pace, and we see budget as a significant roadblock. I don't think it's undoable by any stretch. I think we'll continue to look at that," says Dr. Rindo.
Next year the district hopes to start a new pilot program for the high school. It will include the possibility for work-based learning, job shadowing and evening classes.
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
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