Many, many referenda on the ballot in Wisconsin today. Due to the TIF windfall, Madison escaped this round. A large operating referendum is almost certain for November.
With that in mind, here are links and (very few) excerpts on today’s school referenda votes.
Marshfield (links to many stories)
“”I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand how big of an impact these extracurriculars have on our school lives. Like, I’m really into drama and band and I write for the school newspaper. All of those are going to be cut if this doesn’t pass.”
“My little sister can’t wait until she is in fifth grade and is able to join band, but that might not even happen. Why would they take away the foundation of the question “What do you want to be when you grow up” I loathe the fact that most people don’t even know or care what’s going on! People also, I feel, are being scared away by the thought of a raise in taxes, but the raise is a small price to pay for your/my future. What about the teachers that might be laid off because of this? Do you have any advice/help?”
“I’m not sitting here saying the football program will be cut,” Sally Sarnstrom said. “But it’s like any system. When you just keep reducing it, it just isn’t as effective.”
“Without the referendum, the district likely would cut four staff positions at its elementary schools and eliminate German from the curriculum at Prairie River Middle School next school year, officials said.
Future cuts would include reduced funding for special education and technology and additional teacher positions.
“The appropriate term to use now is dismantling,” Superintendent Sally Sarnstrom said, implying that the district has no room left to downsize. “”
“The number of staff eliminated is almost staggering since 2001-2002.”
“After squeezing every penny from its 2004 referendum, the Rio Community School Board hopes that its diligence will convince residents to pass another ballot initiative in February.
“There is no room to cut anymore, and we have been very honest with the community about that,” said Doug Shippert, school board member. “In the past we have made cuts with staff and courses, but you can only make so many reductions. And the community knows we have made good fiscal decisions in the past.”
Thorpe referendum literature from the Future Farmers of America Alumni (this one broke my heart)
I’ve said it before, this insanity has to stop. It is long past time to fix the school finance system in this state.
Thomas J. Mertz