"We're increasing our graduation rate. We've got more kids going on to college than we ever had. Last year we had 40-percent of our kids go one to higher education. Our ACT scores are going up," said Superintendent Wendall Waukau.
But with no federal budget in place and automatic spending cuts scheduled for Friday, the district faces a loss of 360-thousand dollars in impact aid. And the longer the automatic cuts kick in, the less likely the district can cut spending to meet those losses.
"Whether it's class sizes. We may have to look at layoffs. Eventually, if this continues out to its fruition, we' ll close our doors," Waukau said.
That would be a setback to the community and students themselves. In addition to funding instructional programs, some funds help operate a student run store that provides rewards for qualifiying students.
"We us funds to buy things so that students can purchase those with the points that they earn for good behavior," said Lesllie Shawanokasic, Principal of the MISD High School.
Shawanokasic believes if the school district closes, that closes doors of lifelong opportunities.
"Another one of our incentives is our 'Menominee Model' program. And that's what we use to get our students college-ready. We start in the ninth grade," she said.
The $361-Thousand shortfall comes right in the middle of the current school year. Cuts have already been made in staff training programs, technology purchases and in unfilled staff positions. Because of the limited residential base, Waukau says the district won't consider a referendum to raise money to close the gap. And by law, money cannot come from tribal enterprises.
"We're a public school system. We don't receive revenues or funding from our casino. That goes back to tribal programs," Waukau pointed out.
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.