The Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting
Posted on 08/18/2016

The 2016 annual meeting of the School District of the Menomonie Area (SDMA) will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22. Preceding the annual meeting will be a committee meeting of the SDMA Board of Education at 5:00 p.m., and the annual budget hearing, which is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m.  Each of these meetings will be held in the tiered lecture hall at Menomonie High School (by the new library).

Understanding all of the details of school finance in Wisconsin can be quite complex, but there are a few key components of the budgeting process that make it easier for the general public to understand the school district’s budget. The fiscal year for Wisconsin school districts runs from July 1 to June 30. During the preceding school year, the school board and school district staff will develop a preliminary budget on which many decisions for the following school year will be made.  Since approximately 80% of the school district’s budget is designated for staffing, much of the budget is determined when contracts are issued in the spring. At the annual meeting and budget hearing, the public has the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the school district’s budget and operations. Then, in October, the school board is charged with approving a final budget and setting the annual tax levy. Any major budget adjustments during the year are approved by the Board and published for electors, and the annual audit is completed and made available to the public before January 1.

The final budget and school property tax levy cannot be accurately set until the school district takes the September pupil count and receives this year’s property valuation and school aid certification reports from the state. With a projected total budget of nearly $50 million and a balanced operating budget for 2016-2017 of $35,181,855, the anticipated school tax levy for this year is $16,512,790, which is $379,066 (2.24%) less than last year. Since our projections do not include any increase in overall property valuation in the school district, it is possible that the resulting tax rate will be less than the current projection of $9.68 per thousand of property valuation, which is already $0.23 less than last year.

Since the 2016-2017 school year falls into the second year of the state’s biennial budget, and since our school district made necessary reductions prior to the 2015-2016 school year, there are not many major changes to this year’s operating budget. Most of the budget changes for this year result in little net financial change and have more to do with reallocating resources based on enrollment trends, staff and programming changes, and new school district initiatives.

All school district stakeholders are invited to attend the annual meeting, but there is no need to wait until the meeting to share your questions, concerns, or suggestions related to the finances or operations of our school district. The school district has procedures in place to encourage public participation in our decision-making processes, and I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue, or contact me at 715-232-1642 if  you have any questions or concerns about our schools. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website ( and I regularly post school-related information on Twitter ( and Facebook (