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Three elected to Brodhead School Board

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JAMES P. LEUTE
April 6, 2011
— Now that the election talk is history, the three winners in Tuesday’s Brodhead School Board race are unanimous in their goal to provide kids with the best education possible in an incredibly tight budget atmosphere.

“The kids are the first priority,” said incumbent James Wahl, the top vote getter Tuesday. “The second is doing it within the budget constraints.


“We’ve had four years of cuts and more cuts,” Wahl said.


Challengers Dana Shanks and Michael Oellerich were elected to fill the other two open seats on the board. Howard Balch Jr. was the other challenger.


“Every single school district in the state is facing these budget issues,” said Wahl, who was first elected to the board in 2007.


Shanks and Oellerich agreed.


“Times are tight right now for everybody,” said Shanks, a customer service representative. “People really are paying attention, and I think they have faith that we will move the school district in the right direction.


“Now we’ve got to get on track and figure out where we’re going to get the funds from.”


Oellerich said his goal is to provide the best education without cutting more teachers.


“We’re at the point now where we’ve cut so much that if enrollment grows in the lower grades, we will have to look at deficit spending or dipping into the fund balance to keep class sizes reasonable,” said Oellerich, a law student at the UW Law School.


An alternative, he said, would be a referendum, which he thinks the public would be more understanding of than those that failed early last year.


“I really think the public has come around, seen what’s been cut in the last couple of years and would be more supportive,” he said.



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