Teacher cuts looming close

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU) - As the school year is nearing an end, the final decisions of which teachers will have a job next year are close at hand.

The La Crosse school district has a 3.1 million dollar deficit for the next school year. Most of it will have to come out of teacher’s health benefits, and by cutting personnel.

About 1.5 million will be coming out of the teacher’s health insurance benefits, but that still leaves the district 1.6 million in the hole.

The teachers know what’s coming. 6 were cut last year, and they expect double this year.

“This year we believe we’ll be losing 12-15 teachers,” said President of La Crosse Education Association, Ed Ludwig.

Steve Salerno from the La Crosse School District Human Resources say’s class sizes are going to stay the same, but it will be tough when staff gets cut to the bare minimum.

“We are going to cut proportionately, so not any one part of the organization is impacted more than another,” said Salerno.

Teachers won’t know until the end of May if they are being cut or not. That’s later than usual, and leaves teachers on edge.

“The fact that teachers have to find out so late is tough. Normally we would know by May 15th,” said Ludwig.

To keep class sizes the same some grades will have to be combined under one teacher. The students will still be getting the curriculum they need, but the teacher will have double duty.

“I can take these 9 (from grade 2) and these 9 students (from grade 3) and combine them into one class instead of purchasing 2 more teachers,” said Salerno.

Walker told us yesterday that the reason schools are having troubles is because they aren’t taking full advantage of the reforms. But that’s just not true says both Ludwig and Salerno.

“He’s telling schools they should’ve kicked their teachers across the butt some more and taken more money from the teachers. That’s really what he’s saying,” said Ludwig.

“The impact of Act 10 is that our employees seem to be taking home less and less, and working harder and harder,” said Salerno.


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  • by bearair Location: Eau Claire on Apr 17, 2012 at 08:11 AM
    La Crosse approved a contract for the teachers BEFORE the new law took effect. They are still working under an old contract. It was Walkers intention to be able to keep class sizes small and employ as many teachers as possible. It's the teachers who are cheating their coworkers by not giving up some benefits, so other less senior teachers can actually have a job and have smaller classes. It was Walkers intention to be able to keep class sizes small and employ as many teachers as possible
    • reply
      by normal on Apr 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM in reply to bearair
      HAHAHAHAHAHA...good one. How was it his intention to make class sizes smaller? Oh, by having less kids attend school.
  • by fred Location: EC on Apr 17, 2012 at 04:21 AM
    Teachers are working harder and harder? Kidding right? Some teachers I know call kids idiots and that they don't know anything. And they want everything given to them on a silver platter. I'm happy they have to start pitching in. I am a county worker and have to put more in too and I don't complain. They need to cut more out. "9" students from grade 2 and "9" from grade 3? They should have been combined long ago. Our grades were combined as kids, and our class sizes were bigger than they are now, and our teachers managed. They actually "worked"
    • reply
      by Anon. on Apr 17, 2012 at 07:27 AM in reply to fred
      Well fred, things have changed since you were a kid. They have changed in so many ways in school that I wouldn't have enough space to detail them all.
    • reply
      by Barb on Apr 17, 2012 at 07:59 AM in reply to fred
      And we sure can tell how your education turned out, can't we Fred?
    • reply
      by Ben on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:38 AM in reply to fred
      Happy jobs are getting cut? You're a brainwashed clown, Fred.
  • by Tom Location: ec on Apr 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
    part of what is going on is change, and just like D martin said about dirty diapers being the only thing to change,, well, schools do need to change, they have not changed much for the last hundred years compared with the jobs out there- schools have refused to change and the results of that refusal are obvious
    • reply
      by Ben on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:39 AM in reply to Tom
      Schools haven't changed much in 100 years. Are you kidding Tom? I might think you actually believe what you say if you're 120 years old.
      • reply
        by Tom on Apr 17, 2012 at 02:07 PM in reply to Ben
        on the surface maybe, but we are still educating for the jobs of 50 years ago and those jobs don't exist, we still use the same ideas to teach from 00 years ago even though we understand the brain works differently than we thought back before brain waves could be mapped. btw - iwas a teacher but quit and started my own business because i felt the system did not help kids much. I opened a private school.
  • by Normal on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM
    Really? Thank God I do not have kids going to any school. You people want it all not the teachers...watch my kid..and oh yea, I will drop them off early and pick them up late..do not give them homework because I don't have time to do it with them. Oh, yep make sure you feed them and if I forgot to pay my lunch bill please pick up the tab for me. No, I did not buy all the supplies they need but that's ok you can pay for that too. Oh, also can you counsel them and make sure that nothing happens to them and if time be their friend...and while you are doing this please do the same for the other 100 students that you deal with day to day. It's not the teachers that is the problem folks...it's they school board and superintendant...keep an eye on where your money is going now.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2012 at 05:39 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by well on Apr 15, 2012 at 08:55 AM in reply to
      I would have to say the program is just fine those that chose to NOT use the program are the complete failures.
      • reply
        by Gary on Apr 16, 2012 at 07:20 PM in reply to well
        exactly !!
    • reply
      by Can it be? on Apr 15, 2012 at 09:54 AM in reply to
      But that can't be, all of Walker's TV adds say its working. Oh, that's right, if your wrong you just keep lying in an effort to brainwash people.
  • by paul Location: cornell on Apr 14, 2012 at 04:34 AM
    quit whinning! you saw it coming, but no one wanted to give up their fat share of the pie. same old story, blame Walker. People are getting sick of this thing, are mad what this recall is costing us, so don't expect a lot of sympathy from the rest of the hard-working public that supports your gravy train!
    • reply
      by Ben on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:41 AM in reply to paul
      I guess public workers don't work hard for what they have earned. How much has the recall cost you, Paul. Stay in your little hick town.
  • by education on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM
    somethng is wrong here...I thought Walker saved all those jobs? When are people going to wake up and see the harm this man hads done to our great state!!
    • reply
      by as soon as on Apr 15, 2012 at 08:54 AM in reply to education
      As soon as those of you in the public union arena realize that you are NOT immune to what the rest of the private sector has been dealing with for the last 5 years.
  • by grumpy on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM
    Gee whizz! Welcome to the real world!!!
  • by Alvin Location: Eau Claire on Apr 13, 2012 at 07:24 PM
    Are you aware that your whole story about La Crosse teachers was untrue?? Almost every teacher got a raise in 2011-2-12! Ask to see some paychecks for each of the last two years and then see what they will be getting this fall. Why don't you check the facts before you mislead your viewers?? It was pointed out during the last election that the Eau Claire teachers ended up with raises the last two years - La Crosse is no different. Please air a correction soon. Al Rolland
    • reply
      by Brian on Apr 15, 2012 at 08:52 AM in reply to Alvin
      I agree 100% Alvin. Many School Districts rushed thru contracts for their teachers after the law was signed but before it had taken effect to compensate and offset what their teachers were being asked to pay in for retirement and insurance. And now those same school districts want to sit there and cry and complain about budget cuts, well you did it to yourself. I for one have no sympathy for school boards that don't understand the term "LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS". When 80% of a School Districts budget is spent on salaries and benefits and NOT our children something is wrong.
      • reply
        by Julie on Apr 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM in reply to Brian
        A school is not a manufacturing site. They do not put out a widjit that can be sold for x amount of dollars. Their product is the children's education and the major part of that is "teachers" so teacher salaries are going to be the main part of the budget!
    • reply
      by fred on Apr 17, 2012 at 04:32 AM in reply to Alvin
      www.jsonline.com/watchdog/dataondemand/33534649.html check this out and find out how much teachers really do make a year,
      • reply
        by Ben on Apr 17, 2012 at 09:55 AM in reply to fred
        Those salaries aren't out of line at all Fred. Especially in the Chippewa Valley. Every single one of those salaries has at least a bachelor's degree attatched to it. In many cases a masaters degree, and every single one of them requires continued education. That's way more than our governor has. His salary went up, and his benefits are 100% paid for by us taxpayers. Too many people are brainwashed by this governor. Just wait a few years for all of his cuts to take full effect. Wisconsin's economy will be garbage.
  • by Privitization on Apr 13, 2012 at 06:54 PM
    Walker is totally okay gutting public schools to make room for private schools. Unfortunately most of us will be unable to afford private schools so we will instead have to send our children to the emaciated public school system. This will be are future if Walker remains governor.
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