Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

4K will continue to rear it's ugly head until spending is curtailed

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

K4 back on the table in Elmbrook

School Board member Bob Ziegler last night called for renewed discussion about a 4-year-old kindergarten program in Elmbrook, and other board members agreed the issue should be revisited.

Many area private schools offer K4 programs, and several Elmbrook residents have said the district is bound to lose enrollment from families looking to start their children early.

Discussion about K4 was unofficially curtailed after the emotional end of a pilot program in late 2007.

Ziegler told board members that he wants K4 discussed again as part of an ongoing effort to establish a five year financial plan for the district.

The plan is meant to be the answer to a $10.9 million budget shortfall, projected between now and the 2013-14 school year. A major piece of that plan is increasing resident enrollment, and K4 proponents see the program as a perfect way to do this. Those opposed say the program is too costly for taxpayers and its academic benefits too uncertain.

Previous estimates indicated K4 would cost the district about $800,000 annually while allowing it to collect $2 million a year in extra taxes.

Superintendent Matt Gibson and board members Glen Allgaier and Meg Wartman said they were willing to discuss the idea of implementing K4 in the 2010-11 school year.

Ziegler, however, said he plans to push for the program's resurrection for 2009-10.

Additional update...

Board member Meg Wartman said the program could not be implemented so quickly. In a later statement, she said she believes the board is still opposed to K4, though some members may be willing to discuss the issue.

"I am not supportive of revisiting 4K at this time," she said.

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