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Two budget plans will be voted on by La Crosse school board next week; students speak out over teacher pay, SROs

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The La Crosse School Board is expected to vote on two different budget plans next week.

The district is supposed to pass a spending plan and tax levy by Nov. 1, but the size of the levy will depend on whether voters approve a $194.7 million referendum for a new high school the following week.

Patty Sprang, the executive director of business services for the district, said at a Monday meeting that uncertainly leads to a choice of plans; one in case the referendum passes, and the other, if it fails.

The proposed tax levy of $59 million would be a 13 percent increase over the past year’s levy — a difference of $6.8 million.

A public hearing on the budget drew just three speakers, all students at Logan High School.

They called for more school staffers of color, better pay for teachers and a reduction in school resource officers.

Matthew Stevenson was among the speakers, criticizing the district for turning down the teachers’ request for a 4 percent raise, and approving 2 percent instead, which he called sweeping educators “under the rug.”

“You had the responsibility to pay our teachers a 4 percent increase, and you settled for a 2 percent,” Stevenson said. “This is absolutely insulting.”

Another student, Lily Wagner, objected to the school resource officers in the district, saying those officers contribute to a “prison-like environment” at school.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Nick Berry

    October 18, 2022 at 8:31 am

    The students fail to realize the economics of the situation. The school system receives funds from the state that need to be increased. They also do not understand or do not care that continual decrease in student population will decrease state funding even further.
    There is a finite limit to increasing taxes.

  2. Northside Mayor Kent

    October 18, 2022 at 9:10 am

    AS I SEE IT !!!!! The drop in student population might be due to the junk the public schools are teaching the students that’s why they are shifting to private schools , $194 million for a new (most expensive school in our state ) is not the direction the parents and students want to go , The superintendent of La Crosse schools is not a resident of La Crosse , but resides in the GTE school district , why don’t you build a $194 million dollar school there ????????

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