KENOSHA, Wis. (Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023) – On Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, the Kenosha Unified School District Board of Education voted to close EBSOLA-Creative Arts, Jefferson, McKinley, Stocker and Vernon elementary schools; close Lincoln Middle School and move Washington Middle School to the EBSOLA building; and reduce the Reuther Central High School staff by approximately 10 full-time equivalent positions.
These changes were recommended following eight months of a rightsizing process implemented to help offset an estimated $15MM budget deficit for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which consists of a structural deficit, increased health insurance costs, the loss of ESSER funding, and potential salary schedule movements. KUSD, like many districts, has been facing declining enrollment for many years, mainly due to a declining birth rate, and will be impacted by this trend for at least the next decade. In addition, per pupil increases from the state have fallen short of inflation.
“This was a long, difficult process that will have a major impact on our community,” KUSD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Weiss said. “We are thankful for those who volunteered to serve on the committee to research, brainstorm and analyze scenarios, as well as those who offered ideas, thoughts and comments along the way that allowed us to refine the final recommendations. This has been a huge undertaking and we could not have done this without the support of all those involved.”
“Even though we made a concerted effort to impact the fewest students possible, the decisions we made last night were hard,” KUSD School Board President Yolanda Adams said. “Unfortunately, our district is currently built for 23,000 students, but is funded for fewer than 19,000, and we cannot continue to operate at that level without negatively impacting the services we provide our students.”
The approved changes will be implemented at the start of the 2024-25 school year. For additional information about the rightsizing process, visit kusd.edu/rightsizing.