Kenosha Unified School District, Wisconsin

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kenosha Unified School District
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Kenosha Unified School District logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Sue Savaglio-Jarvis
Graduation rate:80.2 percent[2]
Number of schools:39
Budget: $239.58 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Tamarra Coleman
Board members:7
Term length:3
Kenosha Unified School District is a school district in Wisconsin that served 22,818 K-12 students during the 2013-2014 school year.[1] The first school in Kenosha opened in 1837, and local schools were run by the city government until the district's creation in 1967.[3] District schools serve students in eastern Kenosha County communities including the city of Kenosha, the village of Pleasant Prairie and the town of Somers.[4]

About the district

Kenosha Unified School District is located in Kenosha County, Wis.

Kenosha Unified School District is located in Kenosha County in southeastern Wisconsin. The county seat is Kenosha. Kenosha County is home to 167,757 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5] During the 2011-2012 school year, Kenosha Unified School District was the third-largest school district in Wisconsin.[6]


Higher education achievement

Kenosha County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.8 percent of Kenosha County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.4 percent for Wisconsin as a whole.[5]

Median household income

The median household income in Kenosha County was $55,117 between 2008-2012, compared to $52,627 for the state of Wisconsin.[5]

Poverty rate

The poverty rate in Kenosha County was 12.2 percent between 2008-2012, compared to 12.5 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2013[5]
Race Kenosha County (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 87.9 88.1
Black or African American 7.2 6.5
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.7 1.1
Asian 1.6 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.0
Two or More Races 2.4 1.7
Hispanic or Latino 12.3 6.3

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[7]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 55.4 43.2
2008 58.1 40.1
2004 52.4 46.5

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[8][9]


Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis is the superintendent of Kenosha Unified School District. She has served in this position since replacing interim superintendent Joseph Mangi on July 21, 2014.[10] Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis started her career in education in 1985 as an elementary physical education teacher in the Tempe Elementary School District in Arizona. She moved on to positions as assistant principal and principal within the district. In 2005, Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis moved to Kenosha to serve as an assistant principal of Tremper High School in the Kenosha Unified School District. She moved into a position as principal of Bradford High School in 2007 and as assistant superintendent of the district in 2012. Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis earned her bachelor's degree, master's degree, administrative certification and doctoral degree from Arizona State University.[11]

School board

The Kenosha Board of Education consists of seven members elected at-large to three-year terms. The board determines compensation for members during the organizational meeting following April elections.[12]

Kenosha Board of Education
Member First Elected Term Ends
Rebecca Stevens 2007 2016
Gary J. Kunich 2014 2017
Carl Bryan 2009 2015
Kyle Flood 2013 2016
Tamarra Coleman 2012 2015
Dan Wade 2014 2017
Mary Snyder 2009 2015

School board members from left, front row: Rebecca Stevens, Tamarra Coleman, Mary Snyder; from left, back row: Gary J. Kunich, Kyle Flood, Carl Bryan, Dan Wade

Governing majority

The Kenosha Board of Education voted unanimously on 77.97 percent of its votes between December 13, 2013, and June 30, 2014.

  • When the board did not vote unanimously:
    • Only 30.77 percent of the votes did not pass.
    • Tamarra Coleman and Mary Snyder voted together 83.33 percent of the time.
    • Rebecca Stevens and Carl Bryan voted together 92.31 percent of the time.
    • When Coleman and Snyder voted together, Kyle Flood voted with them 50 percent of the time. When Stevens and Bryan voted together, Kyle Flood voted with them 25 percent of the time.
    • In the two board meetings held after they joined the board in April 2014, Gary J. Kunich and Dan Wade voted together 100 percent of the time. They also voted with Coleman and Snyder 100 percent of the time. For both Kyle Flood and the pairing of Stevens and Bryan, Kunich and Wade voted with them 33.33 percent of the time.
  • Of the non-unanimous votes:
    • 23.08 percent were on board procedures
    • 23.08 percent were on district procedures
    • 23.08 percent were on teacher contracts
    • 15.38 percent were on athletics
    • 7.69 percent were on budgetary and fiscal issues
    • 7.69 percent were on charter schools

The non-unanimous votes regarding teacher contracts stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty against the district. The board allegedly violated Act 10 of state law when it agreed to a teacher contract with the Kenosha Education Association in November 2013. The non-unanimous votes were related to settlement negotiations with the plaintiffs. On June 5, 2014, the board voted to settle the lawsuit and to nullify the teacher contract.[13]

The voting data indicates that Tamarra Coleman, Mary Snyder, Gary J. Kunich and Dan Wade are the governing majority on the board. Rebecca Stevens and Carl Bryan are the minority faction, and Kyle Flood's voting pattern is not consistent with either faction.[14]

School board elections

See also: Kenosha Unified School District elections (2015)

Members of the Kenosha Board of Education are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis. Two seats were up for election on April 1, 2014. Three seats were up for election in April 7, 2015, and two seats will be on the ballot in April 2016.

Public participation in board meetings

The board holds a monthly meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Board committee hearings are typically scheduled during the second week of each month. Each regular board meeting and committee session is open to the public and held at the district's Educational Support Center (ESC). Executive sessions related to human resources, facilities and confidential student concerns are closed to the public.

The district maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings, which was last revised February 2014:

The School Board, as a representative body of the District, wishes to provide an avenue for any citizen to express interest in and concerns for the schools. Meetings of the Board shall be open to the public, except executive sessions, and the public shall be cordially invited to attend any regular or special session of the Board.

Board meetings are conducted for the purpose of carrying on the business of the District.

Citizens wishing to present requests or views directly to the Board shall be afforded the privilege during the "Views and Comments" portion of the agenda at each regular Board meeting, and at special Board meetings as appropriate. Consistent with the Board's responsibility for conducting the business of the District in an orderly and efficient manner, public presentations may be regulated.

Citizen comments and questions at any Board meeting may deal with any topic related to District issues or concerns and/or the Board's agenda. However in public session, the Board shall not hear irrelevant, repetitive, or abusive speech that causes disruption to the orderly conduct of the meeting. The Board also shall not hear discussion of confidential personnel disputes or grievances involving individual school employees that do not implicate issues of public concern, or individual student disciplinary matters, as there are other channels are available in the District that provide for consideration and disposition individuals of such matters. The Board president may set time limits and other administrative requirements as appropriate on the public’s participation at Board meetings.

In lieu of speaking during the "Views and Comments" portion of the agenda, timely received written communication shall be read and/or noted in the Board meeting minutes upon the specific request of a citizen. Also, citizens may write to the Board to ask questions, express concerns and make proposals or comments for consideration by the Board. Written communication to the Board should normally be addressed to the Board President....

Presentations to the School Board by members of the public shall be regulated in the following manner:

  1. Persons or groups wishing to make presentations to the Board during the "Views and Comments" portion of the Board meeting agenda shall sign up on a sheet provided for this purpose prior to the meeting. Persons wishing to state their views to the Board may also call the Superintendent of Schools’ Office prior to 4:00 p.m. on the day of a Board meeting to request that they be placed on the list of speakers.
  2. Speakers shall be limited to three minutes and to speaking only once during the "Views and Comments" portion of each meeting. Time for speaking will be allocated only by the Board President, or other presiding officer, and may not be reallocated by speakers to others. The Board President, or other presiding officer, may honor a request to permit a speaker more time than provided, for good reason, hearing no objection from the Board.
  3. The "Views and Comments" portion of regular and special meeting agendas shall conclude after 45 minutes at the beginning of the meeting. This time allotment may be extended by a two-thirds vote of the Board.[15]

—Kenosha Unified School District School Board Policies: Policy 8870, (2014)[16]


Kenosha Unified School District's website features the current approved budget and budgets from previous years. The following charts and tables detail the district's revenues and expenditures:[17]




The district's total revenues dropped by 5.3 percent from 2010 through 2013 due largely to a decrease in local revenues. Local sources of district revenue including property taxes declined by 5.9 percent during the same period. Local funding as a percentage of overall revenues only dropped by 0.3 percent because state aid's portion of total revenues increased by 2.2 percent. The district also received less aid from the federal government with a 3.3 percent drop in federal aid as a percentage of the budget.

Revenue by Category
School Year Local Other School Districts State Aid Federal Aid Other Revenue Total
Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue Total % of Revenue
2010-2011 $82,613,895 32.7% $306,000 0.1% $154,217,121 61% $15,754,442 6.2% $0 0% $252,975,959
2011-2012 $79,989,694 33.9% $300,000 0.1% $144,510,532 61.3% $10,999,703 4.7% $26,669 0% $235,886,098
2012-2013 $77,580,774 32.5% $300,000 0.1% $150,502,787 63% $9,843,133 4.1% $510,000 0.2% $238,769,194
2013-2014 $77,724,093 32.4% $350,000 0.1% $151,496,515 63.2% $9,346,928 3.9% $646,996 0.3% $239,588,908
Averages: $79,477,114 33% $314,000 0% $150,181,738.75 62% $11,486,051.5 5% $295,916.25 0% $241,805,039.75


The district's total expenditures dropped by 5.3 percent from 2010 to 2013. Salaries, benefits and other staff expenses declined by 7.9 percent during the same period. Staff expenses as a percentage of the budget declined by 2.1 percent with student services increasing as a percentage of the budget by 0.3 percent.

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2010-2011 $186,852,159 73.9% $33,425,075 13.2% $30,870,062 12.2% $450,000 0.2% $1,378,663 0.5% $252,975,959
2011-2012 $180,549,364 74% $28,887,631 11.8% $32,757,058 13.4% $450,000 0.2% $1,472,867 0.6% $244,116,920
2012-2013 $171,093,489 72.6% $28,517,808 12.1% $32,322,161 13.7% $450,000 0.2% $3,385,736 1.4% $235,769,194
2013-2014 $172,112,061 71.8% $32,440,515 13.5% $32,265,812 13.5% $506,588 0.2% $2,263,932 0.9% $239,588,908
Averages: $177,651,768.25 73% $30,817,757.25 13% $32,053,773.25 13% $464,147 0% $2,125,299.5 1% $243,112,745.25

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries at Kenosha Unified School District are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table lists salaries for district teachers during the 2013-2014 school year:[18]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
B.A. 38,377 58,213
B.A. + 6 38,962 59,285
B.A. + 12 39,545 60,565
B.A. + 18 40,128 62,069
B.A. + 24 40,710 63,793
MA 42,266 69,202
MA + 6 42,850 70,813
MA + 12 43,432 72,433
MA + 18 44,015 74,060
MA + 24 44,597 75,500
MA + 30 45,183 76,934


Teachers in Kenosha Unified School District are represented by the Kenosha Education Association (KEA).[19] Members of the KEA voted for the following officers to serve one-year terms during the 2014-2015 school year:[20]

  • President: Anne Knapp
  • Vice President: Margaret Jeske
  • Treasurer: Rebecca Velvikis

Schools in Kenosha Unified School District


The district served 22,818 K-12 students during the 2013-2014 school year. The district experienced a 1.3 percent decrease in enrollment between 2009 and 2013. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2009 and 2013:[1]

Total enrollment
School year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2009-2010 23,138 -
2010-2011 23,240 0.4
2011-2012 23,079 -0.6
2012-2013 22,742 -1.4
2013-2014 22,818 0.3

District schools

Kenosha Unified School District operates 39 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[21]

Kenosha Unified School District
School Name
Bose Elementary School
Bradford High School
Brass Community School
The Brompton School
Bullen Middle School
Cesar E. Chavez Learning Station
Dimensions of Learning Academy
Edward Bain School of Language and Art
Forest Park Elementary School
Frank Elementary School
Grant Elementary School
Grewenow Elementary School
Harborside Academy
Harvey Elementary School
Hillcrest School
Indian Trail High School and Academy
Jefferson Elementary School
Jeffery Elementary School
Kenosha eSchool
Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum
LakeView Technology Academy
Lance Middle School
Lincoln Middle School
Mahone Middle School
McKinley Elementary School
Nash Elementary School
Pleasant Prairie Elementary School
Prairie Lane Elementary School
Reuther Central High School
Roosevelt Elementary School
Somers Elementary School
Southport Elementary School
Stocker Elementary School
Strange Elementary School
Tremper High School
Vernon Elementary School
Washington Middle School
Whittier Elementary School
Wilson Elementary School

Kenosha USD map.jpg

Academic performance

See also: Public education in Wisconsin
Education policy logo.jpg

Education policy in the U.S.
Public education in the U.S.
School choice in the U.S.
Charter schools in the U.S.
Higher education in the U.S.
State public education information
Higher education by state
Glossary of education terms
Education statistics
See also

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administers annual Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) tests to students throughout the state. These tests assess proficiency in math and reading among students in grades three through eight as well as 10th grade. WSAS tests also evaluate proficiency in language arts, science and social studies at grades four, eight and 10. The Department of Public Instruction publishes results from WSAS tests as part of each district's Annual District Report Card.[22]

The Annual District Report Card compares district performance with state performance based on four criteria:[22]

  • Student Achievement: This category compares reading and math performance by district students to state and national standards.
  • Student Growth: This category compares year-to-year performance on reading and math sections in WSAS tests.
  • Closing Gaps: This category compares test performance by low-performing groups in the district to similar cohorts across the state.
  • On-Track and Postsecondary Readiness: This category uses benchmarks including ACT scores, graduation rate, attendance rate and math achievement to assess post-graduate preparedness.

Kenosha Unified School District achieved an overall score of 65.9 during the 2013-2014 school year. The district's overall score led to a "Meets Expectations" designation from the Department of Public Instruction. The following table compares district performance with state performance according to the 2013-2014 Annual District Report Card:[22]

Annual District Report Card grades, 2013-2014
Category District score State score
Student achievement 58.2 66.4
Student growth 57.8 62.4
Closing gaps 65.5 66.3
On-track and postsecondary readiness 82.3 85.3

Accountability ratings for schools in the district, 2013-2014
Category Number of schools Percentage of schools
Significantly exceeds expectations 0 0.0%
Exceeds expectations 9 22.5%
Meets expectations 13 32.5%
Meets few expectations 14 35.0%
Fails to meet expectations 0 0.0%
Alternate Accountability - Satisfactory Progress 4 10.0%
Alternate Accountability - Needs Improvement 0 0.0%

Historical data

The state's Annual District Report Card includes a review of district and state proficiency information in mathematics and reading for the previous five years. This review includes data from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) for students from grades three through eight and 10. The following tables compare the district's percentage of proficient and advanced proficient students with state levels from the 2008-2009 school year through the 2013-2014 school year:[22]

Mathematics proficiency comparisons, 2008-2013
School year District proficiency rate (%) State proficiency rate (%)
2008-2009 43.9 45.2
2009-2010 45.2 47.0
2010-2011 44.9 46.8
2011-2012 44.4 48.3
2012-2013 41.8 48.2
2013-2014 40.0 48.8

Reading proficiency comparisons, 2008-2013
School year District proficiency rate (%) State proficiency rate (%)
2008-2009 31.4 35.3
2009-2010 31.4 35.7
2010-2011 31.2 35.7
2011-2012 30.8 36.0
2012-2013 28.8 36.4
2013-2014 29.8 36.7


Teacher contracts

Three union contracts with the Kenosha Unified School District were declared to be in violation of Wisconsin's Act 10 by Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge David Bastianelli. The district abandoned the contracts in June 2014 after lawsuits were filed against it, but the Kenosha Education Association, the AFSCME Local 2383 and the SEIU Local 168 defended the provisions in the contract.[23]

At issue was the requirement that non-members pay union dues. According the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW), that requirement violated the freedom of association of their plaintiffs, a teacher and a taxpayer. Judge Bastianelli agreed, as Act 10 restricted the use of mandatory dues for government workers.[23]

Reform bills & failing schools

Assembly Bill 1, which was introduced in the State Assembly on January 7, 2015, could create a new board to oversee school accountability and force the conversion of public schools with poor performance scores into private charter schools, which could affect at least six of Kenosha's schools. Bradford High School, the Edward Bain School of Language and Art’s Creative Arts program, and Brass, Frank, Grant and Wilson elementary schools would fit the definition of failing schools under this law. Additionally, the bill would require all state-funded schools to administer "achievement exams." While public schools would have to take the state standardized tests, state-funded private schools would be allowed to choose the exams their students take.[24]

District Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis expressed concerns that the assembly version of the bill would remove local control. She also questioned the use of separate testing for different types of schools, saying, "Until all students in Wisconsin take the same test, there will be no true comparison." Board members Carl Bryan and Tamarra Coleman questioned the speed at which the bill was moving through the legislature. Bryan stated, "I certainly value the need for accountability; we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and we support the idea of bringing the voucher system and the independent charter system into the same accountability standards as the public system," while Coleman stated, "When we rush, we make mistakes, so I want to make sure that we are looking at this closely. How does this affect our students, how does it affect our staff, how does it affect our families and how does it affect our community?"[24]

Local state legislators have weighed in on the measure. Assemblywoman Samantha Kerkman (R-61) supported passing the bill quickly and expressed no reservations about any part of the bill. She stated that the bill was an attempt to set up a uniform system for holding schools which receive state funds accountable, and she defended the separate testing standards for private schools, citing the need to provide "individual choice." She described Bradford High School as having problems when asked directly whether or not she considered it a failing school. Her colleague Assemblyman Tod Ohnstad (D-65), however, questioned the bill and claimed that its wording as introduced could lead to a weakening of accountability, instead. He also opposed the charter school conversion provision.[24]

The vote for AB 1 was postponed in March 2015, but it was not the only bill introduced in 2015 regarding school accountability. Senate Bill 1, SB 67 and AB 78 all relate to accountability reports, as well, but would not utilize the charter school conversion or varied testing requirements included under AB 1.[24][25]

Board negotiations with teachers' union

In November 2013, the Board of Education agreed to a new contract with the Kenosha Education Association (KEA) by a 4-3 vote. This agreement with the teachers' union drew attention because collective bargaining over public employee salaries is limited by state law under Act 10. This 2011 law also prohibits employers from withdrawing involuntary contributions to public employee unions from wages. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), a conservative legal aid organization, and Kristi Lacroix attempted to block the contract in court after the board vote. The WILL argued that the contract exceeded salary increase limits in Act 10. District officials countered that teachers were given one-time bonuses rather than salary increases under the agreement.[26]

A 4-3 vote by the board during a June 5, 2014, meeting settled the lawsuit with WILL by paying $10,500 in legal fees. This settlement also nullified the 2013 agreement with the KEA.[13]

Censure vote for Kyle Flood

See also: Kyle Flood recall, Kenosha Unified School District, Wisconsin (2014)

The Board of Education unanimously voted during a February 25, 2014 meeting to censure board member Kyle Flood for citations issued by University of Wisconsin-Parkside police officers.[27] Flood, a student at the university, was ticketed for possession of drug paraphernalia on November 11, 2013, and vandalism in late December 2013. On February 14, 2013, Flood issued an apology but stated that he will not resign from the board.

The censure vote was supported by board president Rebecca Stevens and Jo Ann Taube. Both members noted the district's efforts to ensure drug-free campuses in their support for the vote. District resident and former teacher Kristi Lacroix initiated an online petition to force Flood's removal from office after the incident became public. This petition effort did not lead to a recall or Flood's resignation.[28]

Contact information

Kenosha Unified School District logo.jpg
Kenosha Unified School District
3600 52nd Street
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 359-6300

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, "Wisconsin Information System for Education," accessed February 4, 2014
  2. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, "High school completion rates," accessed February 4, 2014
  3. Kenosha Unified School District, "History," accessed June 19, 2014
  4. Kenosha Unified School District, "About," accessed June 19, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 United States Census Bureau, "Kenosha County, Wisconsin," accessed August 28, 2014
  6. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed January 27, 2014
  7. Kenosha County Clerk, "Previous Election Results," accessed January 31, 2014
  8. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  9. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
  10. Kenosha News, "Unified board offers superintendent contract to Savaglio-Jarvis," July 3, 2014
  11. Kenosha Unified School District, "Superintendent," accessed August 28, 2014
  12. Kenosha Unified School District, "Policy 8640," July 10, 2001
  13. 13.0 13.1 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Kenosha School Board settles lawsuit over Act 10 dispute," June 6, 2014
  14. Kenosha Unified School District, "Meeting Minutes," accessed June 23, 2014
  15. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  16. Kenosha Unified School District, "School Board Politices: Policy 8870," February 25, 2014
  17. Kenosha Unified School District, "Budget," accessed June 19, 2014
  18. Kenosha Education Association, "Salary Schedule," January 17, 2014
  19. Kenosha Education Association, "About Us," accessed February 4, 2014
  20. Kenosha Education Association, "Announcements," accessed June 19, 2014
  21. Kenosha Unified School District, "Schools," accessed February 4, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, "Report Cards," accessed February 5, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 The Washington Free Bacon, "Judge Strikes Down Coercive Dues in Wisconsin School District," March 27, 2015
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Kenosha News, "Kenosha Unified administrators anxious about school reform bill," January 13, 2015
  25. The Capital Times, "Wisconsin Assembly committee vote on school accountability bill postponed," March 11, 2015
  26. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Kenosha schools, teachers union at odds over deducting union dues," February 11, 2014
  27. Kenosha News, "School board votes to censure Flood," February 25, 2014
  28. Kenosha News, "Unified board president, vice president support Flood censure," February 14, 2014