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The Racine Unified School District is expecting an $8 million deficit for the 2020 fiscal year. But Unified has a deficit this year as well, totaling $2 million. When doing the financial planning for the 2018-19 school year, a tight budget was passed.

According to a story in the Journal Times, Unified Chief Financial Officer Marc Duff said the contributing factors to the tight budget were staffing to support the district’s middle-school transformation and aggressive estimates for savings.

Duff and Unified Superintendent Eric Gallien told the School Board last week that everything possible is being done to slow spending, and that the district is cutting the budget and creating efficiencies.

“As part of the budget planning process, we’ll have to review our staffing and a reduction will be anticipated in order to deal with the structural deficit,” Duff said.

Unified has been experiencing a downward spiral in enrollment for the past eight years according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, dropping from 21,275 at the start of the 2009-10 school year to 18,555 this year.

According to Gallien, an elementary school transformation could solve part of the district’s funding problems, though no elementary transformation plans have been announced.

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