Kenosha School Board Votes to Close School, Makes Other Cuts

Jan. 25, 2023 1:40p

(WGTD)---With enrollment not expected to bottom out any time soon, the Kenosha School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to close the district’s smallest elementary school, Wilson Elementary.

The closure was part of a series of reductions designed to erase a projected $9.6 million budget deficit for next year.

Wilson—one of two Kenosha Unified year ‘round elementary schools—currently has just 117 students.

Next year, Wilson students will be able to transfer to nearby elementary schools, or be bused to Frank Elementary, the district’s only other year ‘round school.

Board member Mary Modder said school closures are inevitable. "We have a finite number of students. We have buildings that are half-empty. We have to do some consolidating," she said. 

Administration believes district enrollment will drop down to near 17,000 students before stabilizing in eight to ten years. The high water mark was reached in 2010 with about 23,000 students.

Others cuts approved Tuesday night included the phasing out of district contributions to employees' health savings accounts and $2 million in district-wide staff reductions, including $500,000 in cuts at the central office. 

Some of the cuts made Tuesday and in December could be reversed, depending on the outcome of state budget deliberations.