MINOCQUA – The Lakeland Union High School Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to increase its share of pre-opening costs of the two charter schools for autism students by some $80,000.
In a companion move, the governance council that oversees the two charters will cover an additional $30,000 of those costs.
The school board met with the council Monday to hear why costs were higher than expected to renovate the former Nicolet College satellite campus that now serves the two charter schools.
Governance council president Gregg Walker promised the council would pick up any overage beyond the budgeted $425,910. “Let’s say we run way high, that obligation is on us. It behooves us to be fiscally responsible to make sure that we are allocating the funds correctly, doing the things that we need to do because that is going back on the ones who donated. And we want to be responsible to the donors.”
Ascension’s Howard Young Medical Center president Sandy Anderson, who is also a council member, highlights the results that the charter schools are seeing.
“We are matching the resources to the needs of the students. And that is making a huge difference for us. We have kids I think in our school that will come into our Project Search class, to our internships, and become meaningful members of our community because they will be employable. I also -- after spending some time with some of our students -- know that we have students who will go on to secondary education. Will they need somebody to continue to be there to prompt them when it comes to social environment and some of those social skills? Yes, maybe. I think it’s too soon to tell.”
Lakeland board member Barry Seidel’s motion to increase the contribution also caps the LUHS share of the 2018-19 operating costs at $425,910.