Shortcuts | February 25, 2010
CHIPPEWA SCHOOLS LOOKING AT BUDGET CUTS, OVERCROWDING
At a recent meeting, the Chippewa Falls school board unveiled tentative plans to balance their deteriorating budget by about $1 million, which could involve cutting about 16 employees including six paraprofessionals and two part-time teachers. The cuts could also eliminate the district’s dance team and its popular Russian language program, which was expected to have 133 students enrolled next year. The district is, however, planning to add one middle school and four elementary school teachers, all told saving the budget about $792,000. This isn’t even addressing the district’s existing overcrowding problem, which thus far has board members discussing additions, portable classrooms, and renting space from Catholic schools. They took no action, but expect to in upcoming meetings.
RAW MILK DEBATE POURS INTO THE CHIPPEWA VALLEY
You read that V1 blog post a month ago, right? The one telling of the possibility that a state committee will examine the sale of raw milk in Wisconsin? Of course you did. Well, it turns out there is a committee, and it’s meeting in our backyard! On March 10, Senate Bill 434, which would authorize some dairy farmers to sell unpasteurized milk, buttermilk, butter, and cream, will be discussed in front of the Agriculture Committee here in Eau Claire. Raw milk, if it comes from cows that are properly fed and cared for, is apparently completely safe and even has some inherent health benefits that pasteurized milk doesn’t. We’re no experts, though, so if you want to know more about it head over to Raw-Milk-Facts.com or attend the March meeting.
STOUT SECURES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN PROGRAM
The Campus Violence Prevention Project at UW-Stout is back up and running again. The project, which re-secured its grant funds last fall, recently named Amy Nord, a former Stout residence hall director, as its new coordinator. Nord will have $275,000 (given by the Office on Violence Against Women) to use over the next three years in order to cover salaries, produce educational materials, and provide mandated staff training programs in an attempt to curtail violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition, the project will continue to coordinate efforts with other regional organizations, such as the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLERS GET BOOST IN LITERACY PROGRAMS
From Feb. 19 to March 4 community and school volunteers are presenting unique literacy activities to Eau Claire elementary schoolers. Organized by Terry Sheridan and Dave Morley, this 10-day campaign includes a presidential “Hats Off to Reading” event at Montessori, a “Reading Café” in Sherman’s library, Dr. Seuss trivia and crafts at Putnam Heights, “Reading Olympics” at Meadowview, and “Reading Pep Rally” at Lakeshore. On top of the interactive programming, the volunteers are putting new books into the hands of every first and second grader.