School Referenda in the News

By John Forester | March 23, 2017

Check out this news story on school referenda from the Green Bay Press Gazette.  Great quotes from Superintendents Langenfeld and LaCroix.

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GOP Lawmakers Propose Pension Changes

By John Forester | March 23, 2017

Two Republican lawmakers are proposing to raise the retirement age from 55 to 60 for most new public workers and change the way pension payments are calculated to ensure the future solvency of the state’s pension system. Check out the news article by Molly Beck of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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Marquette Poll: Walker Numbers Up; 80% Support Increasing K-12 Funding

By John Forester | March 23, 2017

From WisPolitics . . .

Governor Scott Walker’s job approval rating climbed in the latest Marquette Law poll, though he also remained underwater.

Forty-five percent approved of the job Walker is doing, while 48 percent disapproved. In October, that split was 42-51.

Franklin noted since spring 2015, after Walker began moving toward a presidential run, the guv’s numbers have been upside down. Still, it’s the best mark he’s had since 49-47 with registered voters just weeks ahead of his 2014 re-election.

Forty-nine percent of registered voters said the state is on the right track, while 47 percent said it is not. That split was 45-51 in August.

On other issues of note:
*80 percent backed increasing K-12 funding, while 17 percent were opposed.

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More Start Date Resolutions

By John Forester | March 22, 2017

Check out the school board resolutions below in support of school start date repeal.

Please forward your letters and resolutions to the SAA.

Drummond Resolution

Shawano Resolution

Elk Mound Letter

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More Information on JFC Hearings

By John Forester | March 22, 2017

We now have more information on the places and times of the six Joint Finance Committee (JFC) hearings on the State Budget Bill.

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Tensions Rise As Vouchers Expand

By John Forester | March 22, 2017

Interesting article from Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Great quotes from Wisconsin school superintendents, especially about the hidden funding for voucher expansion — local property taxes.

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School Referendum Report

By John Forester | March 22, 2017

From The Wheeler Report . . .

There are 65 referenda scheduled for the April 4 election.  There are:

District Name

Total Amount

Type

Brief Description

Amery

$1,900,000.00

RR – 2017 Referendum to exceed revenue cap commencing with the 2017-18 school year by an amount of $1,900,000.
Arrowhead UHS

$36,680,000.00

Issue Debt To issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $36,680,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a campus-wide school building and improvement program consisting of:  renovations to instructional areas, classrooms, special education, and design, engineering and manufacturing areas; site and storm water management improvements; security, life safety and building and technology infrastructure updates; storage areas and a new science lab as additions to the existing school buildings; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment..
Barron Area

$7,000,000.00

Issue Debt General obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $7,000,000 for the purpose of remodeling the current gymnasium and adding another gymnasium at the High School.
Bonduel

$3,000,000.00

NR – 2017 To exceed the revenue cap by $1,000,000 annually for three years for operating expenses.
Burlington Area

$68,300,000.00

Issue Debt Constructing and equipping a new middle school, and district-wide building and infrastructure improvements
Burlington Area

$11,700,000.00

Issue Debt Constructing and equipping additional gym and athletic space at the high school
Burlington Area

$14,400,000.00

Issue Debt Constructing and equipping a new performing arts center
Cameron

$1,025,000.00

RR – 2017 Operational referendum for recurring purposes consisting of classroom resources and supplies, classroom technology related expenses, transportation and maintenance expenses, and to maintain adequate staffing levels.
Clintonville

$24,900,000.00

Issue Debt 24.9M bond issue to build a new elementary school.
Cuba City

$6,400,000.00

Issue Debt Middle School Addition and Remodeling of Elementary School
Cuba City

$4,900,000.00

Issue Debt School building and improvement program consisting of construction of a gymnasium addition at the High School.
Denmark

$14,900,000.00

Issue Debt Referendum Debt Issue of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $14,900,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school improvement program at District
Denmark

$2,775,000.00

NR – 2017 AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO
EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT BY $925,000 A YEAR FOR
THREE YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
Eleva-Strum

$12,000,000.00

Issue Debt The construction, furnishing and equipping of a new pre-K through grade 5 elementary school wing attached to Central Middle/High School; and renovations, capital maintenance and building infrastructure improvements, site improvements and acquisition of furnishings and equipment at Central Middle/High School.
Eleva-Strum

$2,100,000.00

NR – 2017 Funding will be used for ongoing maintenance and educational programming.
Grafton

$39,930,000.00

Issue Debt Issue General Obligation Bonds not to exceed $39,930,000 for the purpose of paying for improvements to all District buildings and grounds including additions and remodeling at the high school; remodeling and additions to the Woodview and Kennedy Elementary Schools; razing and removing the Grafton Elementary School; constructing a new District maintenance building; renovations to the District offices; District-wide site work and infrastructure upgrades; and equipment acquisition related to said projects.
Green Bay Area

$165,000,000.00

NR – 2017 Question #1: Authorization to exceed the revenue limit on a non-recurring basis of 10 years by $16,500,000 to allow the District to approach the state average consisting of: maintaining educational programming and class sizes; and retaining staff
Green Bay Area

$68,250,000.00

Issue Debt Question #2: Authorization to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $68,250,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a district-wide school building and facilities improvement plan consisting of: reconstruction of Baird Elementary School; additions, renovations and improvements to increase capacity, to provide safe and secure entrances and offices at multiple elementary schools, and to improve instructional, support and community service space; renovations and improvements for fine arts facilities; and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Hayward Community

$10,000,000.00

NR – 2017 To exceed revenue limit by $2,000,000 for 5 years on a non-recurring basis for educational programs and services.
Holmen

$900,000.00

NR – 2017 Holmen High School site improvements: expanding student and guest parking (+145), constructing on-site access drives to alleviate traffic congestion, and develop two physical education/athletic fields.
Holmen

$300,000.00

NR – 2017 Construction of additional seating and installing of a multi-purpose synthetic turf at Empire Stadium. Partially funded by a non-recurring referendum to exceed the revenue limits. Larger share of the funding from private grants/gifts/donations & advertising secured through community fund raising in the amount estimated at $1,014,000.
Holmen

$2,848,203.00

NR – 2017 Safety and Security capital improvements: digitally controlled door access and locking systems, school main entries reconstructed to be two-state passages, security camera surveillance systems at schools and public street development to relieve school traffic congestion at the intersection of Briggs and McHugh Road.
Howard-Suamico

$4,000,000.00

RR – 2017 Exceed Revenue Cap by $4m
Hustisford

$5,825,000.00

Issue Debt School improvement project at district facilities, for remodeling, renovation, and modernization including additional classrooms and a gymnasium at the elementary school.
Little Chute Area

$1,375,000.00

NR – 2017 Authorize the school district to exceed revenue limit by $275,000 per year for five years for technology.
Little Chute Area

$17,770,000.00

Issue Debt Paying the cost of a school building and improvement program at the Intermediate/Middle/High School campus – includes infrastructure and site improvements, renovations and remodeling of specified areas, and construction of an addition
Mayville

$24,500,000.00

Issue Debt Referendum not to exceed $24,500,000 for the construction, equipping and furnishing of additions to the Mayville High School, including new Agricultural Science and Technical Education classrooms and new physical education facilities; site improvements at Mayville High School; and renovations and infrastructure improvements and safety and security upgrades at Parkview Elementary School, Mayville Middle School and Mayville High School.
Menomonee Falls

$6,400,000.00

NR – 2017 RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR A REFERENDUM ELECTION
ON THE QUESTION OF THE APPROVAL
OF A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET
TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT
FOR THREE YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
(ENDING IN THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR)
Mosinee

$35,000,000.00

Issue Debt
Mosinee

$5,200,000.00

Issue Debt
Mosinee

$1,100,000.00

Issue Debt
Mosinee

$159,836.00

RR – 2018
Mount Horeb Area

$38,500,000.00

Issue Debt Additions and remodeling for secure entrances at our District’s schools; additions and renovations for new classroom and academic space, and an expanded cafeteria at the High School; roof replacement and HVAC upgrades at the Middle School; and other capital improvements and building infrastructure improvements at District facilities. Included are the acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Necedah Area

$800,000.00

RR – 2017
North Fond Du Lac

$27,000,000.00

Issue Debt Authorizing General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $27,000,000 for renovations to Early Learning Center and Friendship Learning Center and addition to Friendship Learning Center.
North Fond Du Lac

$2,500,000.00

Issue Debt Authorizing General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,500,000 for renovations to Bessie Allen Middle School and Horace Mann High School
Oconto Falls

$11,500,000.00

NR – 2017 Excess revenues to be used to fund bussing, improve/maintain educational technology, update curriculum, and support/maintain facilities and operations.
Osceola

$3,800,000.00

RR – 2017 RESOLUTION TO EXCEED REVENUE CAP
COMMENCING WITH
THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR
Pardeeville Area

$11,935,000.00

Issue Debt Building Referendum
Pardeeville Area

$130,000.00

RR – 2018 Revenue Control
Pardeeville Area

$3,400,000.00

NR – 2018 Revenue Control
Parkview

$1,050,000.00

NR – 2017 Authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $350,000 a year, for non-recurring purposes during the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-2020 school years.
Pecatonica Area

$325,000.00

RR – 2017 $325,000 recurring for operational expenses, deferred maintenance projects, technology and curriculum improvements.
Riverdale

$3,000,000.00

NR – 2017 exceed limits by $600,000 non-recurring
Rosholt

$735,000.00

NR – 2018 For the purpose of maintaining the present level of programming and operations in the District.
Rosholt

$700,000.00

RR – 2017 For the purpose of maintaining the present level of programming and operations in the District.
Saint Croix Falls

$5,200,000.00

Issue Debt To pay for the cost of school improvement and maintenance program at District facilities and grounds
Salem

$3,010,000.00

NR – 2017 Exceed the revenue limit by $870,000 for the 2017-2018 school year, by $1,070,000 for the 2018-2019 school year, and by $1,070,000 for the 2019-2020 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of general operating costs associated with maintaining the current levels of educational programming, technology, and facilities.
Seymour Community

$1,860,000.00

RR – 2018
Southern Door County

$1,872,000.00

NR – 2017 Ongoing operational expenses necessary to maintain current educational programs.
Southwestern Wisconsin

$10,000,000.00

Issue Debt To address deferred maintenance issues, install secure entrances, add additional classroom space/wing to accommodate the Middle School moving to the High School, band room addition, gym-atorium for performances and upgrade facilities to provide a 21st century learning environment.
Southwestern Wisconsin

$2,500,000.00

Issue Debt Update and redesign our athletic facilities to add a track around the football field, add concession stand with restrooms, and improve the baseball and softball fields.
Thorp

$4,500,000.00

Issue Debt Operation and maintenance of existing building and construction of three building additions.
Thorp

$3,200,000.00

Issue Debt Construction of activity center for fine arts performances and youth athletic practices.
Tomahawk

$12,000,000.00

NR – 2017 $3M/year for 4 years.
Turtle Lake

$4,631,000.00

NR – 2017 To exceed revenue cap for non-recurring purposes consisting of education for students, operations and deferred maintenance projects.
Verona Area

$162,760,000.00

Issue Debt Construction of new high school and auditorium, renovation and reconfiguration of current Verona Area High School and Badger Ridge Middle School, district-wide capital and building infrastructure improvements and repairs and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Verona Area

$18,520,000.00

Issue Debt Construction and equipping of a swimming pool, competition athletic fields and related facilities on the new high school site.
Verona Area

$2,289,747.00

RR – 2020 Exceed the revenue limit by $2,289,747 for the 2020-2021 school year and thereafter for recurring purposes consisting of operational expenses for new district facilities and grounds.
Wabeno Area

$8,000,000.00

NR – 2017
Wabeno Area

$300,000.00

NR – 2017
Washington

$1,109,000.00

NR – 2017 For the support of ongoing educational programs and services in order to provide quality opportunities for each student to achieve his or her academic and personal potential.
West Allis

$12,500,000.00

NR – 2017 An operational referendum to cover rising costs of expenses, retention of staff, and develop new programming.
Wisconsin Heights

$4,111,202.00

NR – 2017 Two year non-recurring purpose – Exceed Revenue cap for general operating costs
Yorkville J2

$490,000.00

RR – 2017 Exceed revenue cap by $490,000 on a recurring basis, beginning 2017-2018 school year, for operations, maintenance, technology and academic programs.

 

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JFC Hearings: Who Plans to Testify?

By John Forester | March 20, 2017

As you know, beginning on April 3rd, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) plans to hold six public hearing on the Governor’s 2017-19 budget bill.  Those hearings include:

These budget hearings have traditionally been held from 10am to 5pm.  However, the JFC committee clerk cannot confirm the start and end times for the hearings as of yet.  We also do not have additional location information (i.e. building, room, etc.) for each hearing as of yet.  As soon as we do, we will forward this information to all SAA members.

We have been told by Capitol sources that it is extremely important for administrators, board members and parents to show up at these hearings to advocate strongly on behalf of the children we serve.  Those SAA members interested in testifying at one of these six hearings should let me know so I can help coordinate the arrangements for your testimony.

We will follow up with more information on each hearing when it becomes available.

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State Budget Alert: Joint Finance Committee

By John Forester | March 20, 2017

With the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s (LFB) summary of the governor’s budget recommendations having been released, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will soon begin its deliberations on the 2017-19 State Budget Bill.  The JFC will conduct state agency briefings the week of March 27 (DPI is scheduled for March 30) and hold a total of six public hearings on the budget bill during the weeks  beginning April 3 and April 17 (see SAA March 17 post).  We will follow up with a separate post on coordinating SAA member testimony at the JFC budget hearings.

I would like to thank all those SAA members that have already begun conversations with their legislators regarding the governor’s budget recommendations.  For those that have yet to communicate with their legislators, it’s time to do so.  To be successful on this state budget, all SAA members must contact their legislators repeatedly throughout the long budget process.

I call on each district administrator to assemble your leadership team, collaborate on your district message and craft your plan for influencing your parents, your staff, your community, your media and your lawmakers — and then coordinate the delivery of that message.  This budget is vitally important for your school district and the children you serve.   Never has it been more important for you to reach out to your legislators and your community.

In your communications, please cover the following:

  1. Invite your legislators to your school(s).  Use the opportunity to show them some of the great educational opportunities afforded to the children in your district.  Show them what learning looks like today in your district.
  2. Express our strong support for the governor’s proposal to increase each district’s per pupil categorical aid from the current $250 per pupil by adding $200 per pupil in 2017-18 and an additional $204 in 2018-19.  Explain the importance of these increases in per pupil revenues in both fiscal and human terms.  In particular, emphasize the impact on educational opportunities for the kids you serve.
  3. Express our strong opposition to the budget provision which makes a district’s receipt of the new per pupil aid contingent upon the district certifying to DPI that district employees pay at least 12% of all costs and payments associated with employee health care plans in that school year.  Clearly, this provision interferes with district efforts to recruit and retain qualified staff.  It also diminishes the innovative ways districts have used the flexibility afforded under Act 10 to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.  Share with your legislators the steps you have taken under Act 10, and urge them to support removing this provision from the budget bill.
  4. Express our strong opposition to the budget provision requiring districts to distribute new per pupil aid equitably to each school in the district based on enrollment.  Assembly Speaker Vos has recognized that this provision is “irrelevant” because each district could easily work around it making this provision a meaningless paper exercise.
  5. Express our strong support for the governor’s proposed increases in sparsity aid and high-cost transportation.
  6. Express our strong support for the governor’s school mental health initiatives.
  7. Tell your district’s story.  They need to hear it.
  8. Encourage your legislators to stand up for the children you serve.
  9. Thank them for listening and for serving the citizens of Wisconsin.

Please send a letter (phone calls work too) using the information discussed above to the members of the Joint Finance Committee and your legislators as soon as possible.  I know many of you have already discussed these issues with your legislators, and I thank you.  I also ask that you contact them again.  For your convenience, I have provided links to the Senate Directory, the Assembly Directory and Who Are My Legislators.  Please copy your letter to the SAA.

Make no mistake about it.  We have to fight and fight hard for the governor’s proposed aid increases for public school children.  Many legislators are pushing back against the proposed increases to K-12 education.  Some want to use the money for transportation.  A conservative block in the Senate has even told Senate GOP leadership that schools don’t need any increase!!  Some legislative leaders want to work from the 2016-17 base budget and not the governor’s budget bill.  That’s a difference of starting at $0 or at a $649 million increase for K-12 education.  In my estimation, starting from the base budget would simply make it easier politically to reduce the increased school aid the governor has proposed.

So, let’s stand up and fight for the governor’s proposed school aid increases.

Thanks for listening, and for all your efforts on behalf of Wisconsin school children.

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JFC Public Hearings Finalized

By John Forester | March 17, 2017

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has finalized the dates and locations for the six public hearings it will hold on the 2017-19 State Budget.

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