Whitnall School District to cut fees; Elmbrook seeks to raise them

What a difference leadership can make.

A Whitnall school board member thought in an effort to stem the harm from a slowing economy on the districts’ students he’d ask the board to suspend fees for materials and extra curricular activities. The board agreed. (See this report from TMJ4.)

Contrast that news with Elmbrook Superintendent Matt Gibson’s plan to increase fees to a target of $205,000 for next year. (See this document, page 3.) Keep in mind, all of this increase takes place as the board is voting to put air conditioning in another school building.

How amazing it must feel to be in a district with proper priorities. My congratulations to those who elected the Whitnall board.


  1. I think the link to Gibson’s document is broken.

  2. Thank you for letting me know. I’ve fixed my mistake.

  3. …and the document is just what you promised.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Sure, on the outside, it would appear that Whitnall has it’s priorites straight. But, a closer look might reveal otherwise. A small, but powerful group of 1st grade parents have been asking for a 4th teacher for 2009/10 to help with overcrowding and overworked teachers. The board’s response….maybe, budget shortfall could be $600,000-$1m next year. Couple this with a recent communication survey indicating that the majority of parents and staff would agree to an increase in activities fees. So, how do they justify extra-curricular activites as more important than academia?

  5. Without properly sourcing your survey, it’s not much proof to me.

    We have a huge budget shortfall coupled with massive fee increases. We win.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you call that “winning”, I’d hate to see what losing is. To view the survey, all you have to do is check out http://www.whitnall.com. Survey results pop up right on the home page. School Perceptions LLC submitted the final report on March 9, 2009. P. 13 of that document has the 2 specific questions and answers that relate to my earlier comment. Again, Congrats on your “win”.

  7. You must not be a regular reader.

    Thank you for the documentation. It seems you have your own battle to fight. I won’t be joining your effort.

  8. Cindy – after reading your blog and the response by “anonymous, I have to say I find it sad your response was “we win.” I do not believe the issue is a competition between schools or school districts.

    There seems to be valid issues in both districts and I do not understand your condesending response to what was obviously information that would support the notion that not all is what it seems on the surface.

    I also do not believe the person was looking for you to join their effort. From what I am reading the person was providing you information about issues within the Whitnall School District as you were applauding them, perhaps without all the facts. There clearly is no winner here.

  9. Oh, good grief. “We win” was a flippant, sarcastic comment. It’s my blog. I get to make them. My point was (since I obviously have to spell it out) that our school district IN MY OPINION is making decisions that are more ridiculous than Whitnall’s.

    Lighten up, folks.

    And by the way, IN MY OPINION, there are lots of winners here. I’d call them the Whitnall families that don’t have to fork over hundreds of dollars in fees next fall at enrollment.

    I’m certain Madame Anonymous can still pay hers as a donation if it makes her feel better.

  10. There is so much that is not made public about Whitnall. There are thousands of dollars being spent to settle a lawsuit brought about by the administrator that Petric attempted to get a restraining order against. A signficant portion of their budget goes toward legal fees to fix the mistakes their superintendent has made. She is teflon, nothing she does sticks to her as she has been the master of the blame game for years. She had the audacity to roll her eyes at community members who were speaking at the Monday April 6th meeting. Why someone didn’t call her on it is only because she can go postal in a heartbeat, as several people have experienced. She is a poor manager with even more inept subordinates who are terrified of her because of her volatility. Not a good situation at all in Whitnall. Why everyone is satisfied with a survey that says they are “good” with very little approaching excellent is beyond me.