As you are likely aware, we have started a new legislative session at the capitol as of the beginning of January. Although I typically refrain from being overtly political, it is important for you to be aware of the fact that many new pieces of legislation impacting our schools will likely develop from this legislative session. To be clear, I am NOT advocating for one political party or another, or even one particular viewpoint; I am however, advocating for our students. To that end, I ask your assistance in being engaged in the political process this legislative session by staying informed as to pending legislation at the capitol and invite any of you to contact me at any time with questions regarding any pieces of legislation that impact our schools and our children. It is always best to be armed with as much relevant and legitimate information as possible. I also ask that you engage with your representatives to ensure that your voices are heard. There have been some troubling bills that were introduced last session and from what I have heard, this session will be no different with perhaps even more troubling legislation possible. My goal is not to change ways of thinking or to advance one political party or another; my goal is to provide our taxpayers with information on the actual impact of pending legislation on our kids and allow you to come to your own conclusions.
On a similar note, the legislature will also begin working on the next biennial budget in the coming weeks. I have heard from some reliable sources that public education will see no increase in funding this biennium; however, this will not be fully known until the budget is finalized. With that said, I feel it is important for our taxpayers and parents to know that we have been building next year’s budget with this in mind. As it stands now, it looks as though (even with the potential freeze in funding) we will be able to meet our budget obligations for 15-16 without making reductions in staff or cutting programs. There may be some changes necessary to some of the renovation and maintenance projects we have planned in the short term to deal with the lack of additional revenue. It is difficult to predict too far into the future, but if schools continue to see decreases in revenue for more than a couple of years, maintaining our current programming will be difficult if not impossible. We have certainly been fiscally responsible during my time here and will continue to be to allow us to maximize the experiences and opportunities for kids. I will do my best to keep you informed of this and other relevant information.
As always, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Craig G. Broeren
715-537-5612 ext. 402