Common Council offers to help KUSD
At last night’s Common Council meeting, a rather lengthy discussion surrounded the resolution sponsored by Alderperson Steve Bostrom and co-sponsored by Alderpersons Ray Misner and Theodore Ruffalo, to register the Council’s opposition to the Kenosha Unified School District’s (KUSD’s) elimination of the organized, interscholastic, competitive middle school sports program in favor of an intramural program. Bostrom mentioned the strong grass-roots effort organized by parents Traci Griffin and Diane Carlin. Alderpersons David Bogdala and G. John Ruffolo also recognized the many volunteers who combated this. Apparently, the issue is now “off the table” due to the loud and clear parents’ and students’ response. KUSD has stated, and it was previously reported, that they will find the proposed savings of $270,000 in other ways. The lack of funds still exists. Click here to read that article: KUSD Transformation/Budget Plan.
Alderperson Jan Michalski expressed his opinion that the issue was a moot point now. Alderperson Ray Misner felt that “we should follow through and make a statement. We need to make a statement of how important sports is to our city. Sports keeps our kids out of jail and off of drugs. This is something we all have a stake in. This is our business. Too many are looking for the easy way out. And, they choose the weakest people to cut programs on.” Alderperson Theodore Ruffalo agreed. “Sports does teach leadership skills.”
As part of the resolution, Bostrom offered to assist the district on a committee to come up with other cost savings ideas. Bostrom said that he had ten years of experience running a middle school sports program for Catholic schools in Kenosha and Racine. Alderperson Anthony Kennedy moved to make two changes to the resolution, one of which was to delete the stipulation of Bostrom’s help to the district on a committee. However, the votes on these two amendments failed. Finally, the vote was 10 to 5 approving the resolution, as originally written. Those alderpersons in opposition were Alderpersons Michalski, Tod Ohnstad, Patrick Juliana, Katherine Marks, and Kennedy. Alderpersons Daniel Prozanski and Michael Orth abstained from the voting, as they are both KUSD employees.
The KUSD School Board will be voting on this, as well as other cost-saving ideas, on Tuesday, February 28th. The Council encouraged concerned citizens and parents to make their ideas and feelings known at the meeting, which starts at 7 pm at the Educational Support Center, 3600 – 52nd Street. An alternative method would be to e-mail the School Board. Their contact information is listed here: KUSD School Board Contact Information.