4/27/17 – School district’s around Wisconsin are waiting to see the final school funding numbers in the state budget. In Waupun, any change from the proposed amount of per-pupil aid will mean the difference between black and red ink. Governor Walker’s proposed two-year budget includes a half-billion-dollar increase in school aid, which amounts to a $200 increase per student in each of the next two years. Waupun Superintendent Tanya Gubin says that leaves their budgeting for next year with a razor thin margin. She tells legislators that the funding will help balance a budget that would otherwise have a deficit of $400-to-$500-thousand dollars. The deficit is the result of increased staffing to reduce class sizes and the addition of reading interventionists. Another driving force in next year’s school budget is rising health insurance costs. Waupun is looking at a 28-percent increase in costs, which translates to around $800-thousand dollars. Gubin says for the past five years, the district’s insurance usage has been high and efforts have been made to control costs where possible. She says the renewal was quite high and says the district “is going to have to do some different things to restructure that.” In addition, she says the district will have to go deeper with their wellness plan, making sure that employees are not only being healthy but also being smart users of the insurance plan. Another factor in the steep increase in insurance, she notes, is retirees that are still on the district’s insurance plan. Meanwhile, Gubin says they are getting mixed feedback from legislators when it comes to the likelihood of the $200-per-pupil spending proposal making it into the final budget that is expected to be adopted this July.