Republican Lawmakers Meet Today for Leadership Elections

By Dee Pettack | November 10, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Assembly and Senate Republicans meet in closed caucus today for leadership elections.On the Senate side, all of the returning members who served in leadership this session are seeking new terms: Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, of Oostburg; President Chris Kapenga, of Delafield; President Pro Tempore Pat Testin, of Stevens Point; Assistant Majority Leader Dan Feyen, of Fond du Lac; and Caucus Chair Van Wanggaard, of Racine.Sen. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, is running for the open caucus vice-chair post. She told WisPolitics.com last week she hoped to fill that role and to continue serving on the Joint Finance Committee.Republicans increased their majority by one seat to 22-11 in Tuesday’s elections. There will be five new members to the caucus this session: Rob Hutton, of Brookfield; Rachael Cabral-Guevara, of Appleton; Jesse James, of Altoona; Romaine Quinn, of Cameron; and Cory Tomczyk, of Mosinee.Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, is among the Assembly Republicans who sent their colleagues letters yesterday indicating plans to seek another term.The others were:

Rep. Kevin Petersen, who served as assistant majority leader this session, told WisPolitics.com he’s running for speaker pro tempore.Rep. Cindi Duchow, R-Pewaukee, served as caucus vice-chair this session, and several members expected her to seek another term in the post.The sergeant-at-arms position is open, and several members said Rep. Treig Pronschinske, R-Mondovi, had expressed an interest in that post.Republicans increased their majority by three seats to 64-35 and will have 16 new members this session.The new members are: Joy Goeben, Hobart; Peter Schmidt, Bonduel; Tom Michalski, Elm Grove; Dave Maxey, New Berlin; Amy Binsfeld, of Sheboygan; Ellen Schutt, of Clinton; Scott Johnson, of Jefferson; Jerry L. O’Connor, of Fond du Lac; Nate Gustafson, of Neenah; Ty Bodden, of Hilbert; Amanda Nedweski, of Pleasant Prairie; Karen Hurd, of Fall Creek; Angie Sapik, of Lake Nebagamon; Chanz Green, of Grand View; Nik Rettinger, of Mukwonago; and Bob Donovan, of Greenfield.Dems will caucus next week for leadership positions.

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Voters Approve 79 Percent of School Referenda

By Dee Pettack | November 9, 2022

Preliminary numbers from yesterday’s election show Wisconsin voters approved 79 percent (64 questions passed, 17 failed) of the school funding referendums on the ballot.  Debt referendum questions led the way with an 82 percent pass rate (32 passed, 7 failed).  Non-recurring referendums to exceed the revenue limit had a 75 percent pass rate (21 passed, 7 failed).  Finally, 11 referendum questions to exceed the revenue limit on a recurring basis passed, while 3 failed (79 percent pass rate).

With these election results, it is clear that many Wisconsin voters continue to see the need for more resources to meet the educational needs of Wisconsin school children.

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School Referenda Results

By Dee Pettack | November 9, 2022

From The Wheeler Report…

SCHOOL REFERENDA RESULTS

District District Name Total Amount Type Brief Description
0014

Failed

Adams-Friendship Area $12,600,000.00 NR – 2022 To exceed the revenue limit for four years at a total cost of $12.6 million.
0147

Passed

Appleton Area $129,800,000.00 Issue Debt Issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $129,800,000 for the purpose of paying the cost of a school building and facility improvement projects.
0147

Passed

Appleton Area $5,000,000.00 RR – 2023 We would like to exceed the revenue limit by $5,000,000 annually to fund increased staffing at the K – 2 level, which would allow us to reduce class sizes, add STEM staffing at the elementary and middle levels, and fund expenses for ongoing school building maintenance, cleaning, and utility costs.
0196

Failed

Athens $5,525,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $5,525,000
0196

Failed

Athens $1,670,000.00 RR – 2022 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT FOR RECURRING PURPOSES
0217

Passed

Augusta $10,500,000.00 Issue Debt school facility improvement projects consisting of: construction of additions and renovations at the Elementary and Middle/High school, district-wide capital maintenance, building infrastructure, safety and sit improvements and furnishings, fixtures, and equipment
0217

Passed

Augusta $4,500,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of an addition for and equipping of a new gymnasium and related facility renovations and improvements at the Elementary school.
0245

Passed

Bangor $24,000,000.00 Issue Debt Capital Referendum
0350

Passed

Belleville $999,999.00 RR – 2023 To exceed the revenue limit by $999,999 beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses.
1120

Passed

Clayton 2022 $1,545,000

Total: $1,545,000

RR 2022 Budget to exceed revenue cap for recurring purposes consisting of operational expenses.
1246

Passed

Cuba City $26,850,000.00 Issue Debt Capital referendum for building and remodeling
1246

Passed

Cuba City $200,000.00 RR – 2023 Recurring Referendum
1380

Passed

Delavan-Darien $15,200,000.00 NR – 2023 4 Year Non-Recurring Operational Referendum to exceed revenue cap by $3,800,000 beginning in 2023-2024 and ending in 2026-2027
1407

Passed

Denmark $31,000,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZINGGENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN ANAMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $31,000,000
1407

Passed

Denmark $2,775,000.00 NR – 2023 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOLDISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMITBY $925,000 PER YEAR FOR THREE YEARSFOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
1554

Passed

Eau Claire Area $98,600,000.00 Issue Debt To issue $ 98,600,000 to complete capital improvement projects at 11 of our schools.
1883

Passed

Fort Atkinson

$22,000,000.00 Issue Debt $22M GO Bonds for secure entries, maintenance projects, and traffic flow improvements.
1883

Failed

Fort Atkinson $3,000,000.00 RR – 2022 $3M Recurring beginning in 2022-23
1883

Failed

Fort Atkinson $13,000,000.00 NR – 2023 $4M – 2023/24$4M – 2024/25$5M – 2025/26
1890

Passed

Fox Point J2 $12,400,000.00 NR – 2023 Non-Recurring Operational Referendum to Exceed Revenue Limit by $3.1 Million per year for Four Years, 2023-24 school year through 2026-27 school year.
2016

Passed

North Crawford $4,500,000 Issue Debt Issue debt for general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $4,500,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project
2016

Passed

North Crawford 2022 $300,000

2023 $250,000

2024 $200,000

2025 $150,000

Total: $900,000

RR 2025 Exceed revenue limit for recurring purposes
2044

Passed

Geneva J4 $4,500,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue cap – 2023-2024 to 2025-2026
2128

Passed

Gillett 2023-2024 $600,000

2024-2025 $600,000

2025-2026 $600,000

Total: $1,800,000

NR 2025-2026 3 year non-recurring referendum for $600,000 per year for the 23-24, 24-25, and 25-26 school years.
2289

Passed

Green Bay Area

$92,605,000.00 Issue Debt Question:  Shall the Green Bay Area Public School District, Brown County, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $92,605,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project consisting of:  district-wide safety, security, building infrastructure and capital maintenance improvements; renovations and facility updates to secondary schools; construction of an addition at certain district buildings; district-wide athletic facility and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment?
2303

Passed

Greenfield

$20,000,000.00 NR – 2023 Resolution authorizing the School District budget exceed the revenue limit by $5,000,000 per year beginning in the 2023-24 school year and every school year thereafter, through the 2026-27 school year, for non-recurring purposes.
2534

Passed

Hilbert

$8,270,000.00 Issue Debt This is to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $8,270,000 for additions and renovations to our Career and Technical Education areas, band and choir areas, locker room/fitness areas, and our lunch room/commons area.
2534

Passed

Hilbert

$200,000.00 RR – 2022 This resolution will be used to fund staffing in the career and technical education area as well as acquire additional equipment for the career and technical education area.
2541

Passed

Hillsboro $3,000,000.00 NR – 2023 For non-recurring purposes to maintain District facilities and current programs.
2562

Passed

Holmen $650,000.00 RR – 2024 For recurring purposes consisting of building maintenance and technology.
2562

Passed

Holmen $74,750,000.00 Issue Debt Evergreen, Viking and Holmen Middle renovations, infrastructure, capital maintenance, safety and site improvements, Evergreen addition and Holmen Middle wing reconstruction and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment. Inclusive playground and safety surfaces at all four elementary schools.
2605

Passed

Howards Grove $39,800,000.00 Issue Debt Construction and furnishings for a middle school addition to the high school, district-wide infrastructure improvements, athletic facility work, and removal of current middle school.
2605

Passed

Howards Grove $2,900,000.00 Issue Debt Renovating, improving, and equipping the High School gymnasium and certain athletic fields and facilities located on district-owned land.
2702

Passed

Jefferson

$34,000,000.00 Issue Debt District-wide safety, security and facility improvements.
2702

Failed

Jefferson

$8,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction and equipping an athletic complex.
2849

Failed

La Crosse $194,700,000.00 Issue Debt Issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $194,700,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of acquisition of land for and construction of a consolidated high school and renovations and improvements to the current high school buildings for conversion into middle schools
2898

Failed

Lake Mills Area

$44,000,000.00 Issue Debt New intermediate building on district-owned land
2898

Failed

Lake Mills Area

$950,000.00 RR – 2024 Operational referendum for ongoing expenditures associated with a new intermediate school
3206

Failed

Loyal

$6,700,000.00 NR – 2023 Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to exceed revenue limit for five years for non-recurring purposes.
3430

Passed

Menasha

$99,700,000.00 Issue Debt For the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and facilityimprovement project consisting of: the construction of a new Maplewood School on the existingsite and removal of the current building; site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings,fixtures and equipment.
3500

Failed

Merrill Area

$10,000,000.00 NR – 2023 Four Year Non-Recurring referendum in the amount of $2,500,000 per year beginning with the 23-24 school year.
3549

Passed

Middleton-Cross Plains $65,470,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limits for four years, non-recurring for the expenses related to ongoing educational and extracurricular programming, and compensation, and other operational expenses.EXCEED REVENUE LIMITFOR FOUR YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
3682

Passed

Monroe

$88,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of new HS and related costs and capital maintenance improvements to Abraham Lincoln Elementary School
3794

Passed

Mount Horeb Area

$4,820,000.00 RR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limits by $4,820,000 beginning with the 2023-2024 school year for recurring purposes
3983

Passed

North Fond Du Lac

$18,500,000.00 Issue Debt Amount not to exceed $18,500,000 for paying the cost of a school building and facility improvement projects
3983

Passed

North Fond Du Lac

$2,400,000.00 NR – 2022 Exceed Revenue Limit by $800,000 for 3 years
4074

Passed

Oconto Falls

$37,630,000.00 Issue Debt Capital Referendum to construct new middle school, removal of the existing middle school, secure entrances and roofs added/replaced at high school and elementary schools.
4095

Passed

Onalaska $75,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue $75,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds for Addition/Remodel of Onalaska Middle School and Onalaska High School.
4095

Passed

Onalaska $21,650,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit for operational purposes
4144

Passed

Oregon $11,400,000.00 RR – 2022 Shall the Oregon School District, Dane, Green and Rock Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $5,420,000 for the 2022-2023 school year; by an additional $3,000,000 (for a total of $8,420,000) for the 2023-2024 school year; and by an additional $2,980,000 (for a total of $11,400,000) for the 2024-2025 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of expenses to pay compensation and to sustain District instruction and operations?
4151

Failed

Parkview $6,000,000.00 NR – 2023
4151

Failed

Parkview

$15,400,000.00 Issue Debt
4305

Passed

Peshtigo

$39,950,000.00 Issue Debt School building and facility improvement project at the Middle/High School.
4389

Passed

Platteville

$36,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Bonds in an amount not to exceed $36,000,000 for the purpose of paying the cost of improvements to school district buildings and grounds including Americans with Disabilities Act and safety improvements; cafeteria/kitchen renovations at the Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center and the High School; renovations and additions to the Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center, the Middle School and the High School; improvements to the High School outdoor activities complex; parent drive and parking safety upgrades at the Westview Elementary School; and equipment and furniture acquisition related to said projects.
4557

Passed

Prairie Farm $4,250,000.00 NR – 2023 General Operation
4613

Passed

Pulaski Community

$8,500,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit for purposes consisting of compensating and providingbenefits to teachers and staff, maintaining programs and services,and operating facilities.
4613

Passed

Pulaski Community

$69,800,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Debt in the amount of $69,800,000  for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project.
4641

Passed

Random Lake

$29,900,000.00 Issue Debt Building and facility improvement projects.
4781

Passed

Rhinelander

$16,000,000.00 NR – 2023
4872

Passed

Ripon Area

$5,100,000.00 NR – 2022 The Ripon Area School District will ask voters to consider a six-year non-recurring referendum to exceed revenue limits by $850,000 to sustain general operations.
5432

Failed

Somerset $25,500,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of Auditorium, improvements to stadium, track & field, renovating building systems and capital maintenance at ES
5432

Failed

Somerset $11,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of HS gymnasium space and construction of athletic fields
5457

Passed

Southern Door County

$2,925,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limit by $975000 per year for three years for non recurring purposes
5457

Passed

Southern Door County

$14,900,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $14,900,000
5621

Passed

Stoughton Area $36,300,000.00 Issue Debt School facility improvement project for safety, security, energy efficiency, capital maintenance, site improvements, remodeling, and removal of old structures and construction of a new maintenance facility.
5621

Passed

Stoughton Area $11,700,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of a gymnasium addition at River Bluff Middle School and removal of Community Gym building.
5628

Failed

Stratford

$2,935,000.00 NR – 2022 exceed the revenue limit specified, by $190,000 for the 2022-2023 school year, by $480,000 for the 2023-2024 school year, by $875,000 for the 2024-2025 school year, and by $1,390,000 for the 2025-2026 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational expenses
5656

Passed

Sun Prairie Area

$9,000,000.00 RR – 2022 to pay for expenses related to maintaining class sizes, student services and staff compensation, providingfor substitute teacher coverage, increasing mental health services for students, and ongoingsafety and facility maintenance
5733

Passed

Three Lakes

$21,250,000.00 NR – 2023 Five (5) year, $4,250,000 per year, non-recurring referendum for operational expenses
5824

Passed

Two Rivers

$38,700,000.00 Issue Debt Facility addition at LB Clarke Middle School, renovations and district wide improvements to security, technology, sites, building systems and playgrounds.
5901

Passed

Verona Area

$19,000,000.00 RR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit by $19,000,000 for the 2022-2023 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of expenses related to ongoing educational programming, maintaining and supporting instructional and extracurricular programs, and paying salary and other operational expenses.
5985

Passed

Viroqua Area $17,000,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION NUMBER I AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $17,000,000
5985

Passed

Viroqua Area $3,500,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION NUMBER IIAUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDSIN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $3,500,000
6118

Failed

Waterloo

$3,500,000.00 NR – 2022 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT BY $700,000 PER YEAR FOR FIVE YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
6181

Passed

Waunakee Community

$175,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of a new Heritage Elementary School on district-owned land; construction of a new middle school on district-owned land; removal of the current Heritage Elementary School building; district-wide renovations, capital maintenance and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
6181

Passed

Waunakee Community

$10,000,000.00 NR – 2022 Purposes consisting of expenses related to attracting and retaining staff, operating and maintaining any additional school facilities, and maintaining current programs and services.
6195

Passed

Waupaca

$3,875,000.00 Issue Debt General Obligation Bonds for the purpose of district-wide safety and security upgrades.
6216

Passed

Waupun

$2,940,000.00 NR – 2022 Exceed the revenue limit by $980,000 each year for three years; 22/23, 23/24, 24/25
6251

Passed

Wauzeka-Steuben $3,352,000.00 NR – 2022 4 year non recurring operational referendum
6461

Passed

Whitewater

$17,600,000.00 NR – 2023 permission to exceed the revenue limit for maintaining targeted class sizes, maintaining student support and mental health services, maintaining comprehensive instructional and co-curricular programs, and maintaining technology, safety, and facilities infrastructure.
6678

Passed

Wisconsin Dells

$4,800,000.00 NR – 2022 4 Year, Non-Recurring Operational Referendum for $1,200,000 per year ($4,800,000 total) from 2022-23 until 2025-26 school year.

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Evers, Johnson, Kaul re-elected; Dems beat back GOP attempt at veto-proof majority in Assembly

By Dee Pettack | November 9, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Dem Gov. Tony Evers bucked recent history in winning reelection with his party in the White House while Dems blocked GOP attempts to get a veto-proof majority despite Republican gains in the Legislature.Dems added to their impressive night with Republican Eric Toney, the Fond du Lac DA, conceding to Dem AG Josh Kaul.But Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson was poised to secure a third six-year term with a narrow win over Dem Mandela Barnes as Dem control of the U.S. Senate hung in the balance.In other top races not yet called as of this morning: the GOP’s John Leiber was beating Aaron Richardson in the state treasurer’s race, and longtime Dem Secretary of State Doug La Follette clung to a tiny lead over state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton.The 3rd CD had not yet been called. Still, former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden was ahead of state Sen. Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska, in the western Wisconsin district.In beating construction exec Tim Michels, Evers became the first governor in 32 years to win when his party was in power in the White House.Evers told supporters at his Madison victory party he was proud to be the 46th governor of Wisconsin and “jazzed as hell to tell you that on Jan. 3, 2023, I’ll still be the 46th governor of the great state of Wisconsin.”Evers thanked supporters for showing up at the polls on issues such abortion rights. He also poked fun at the knock that he’s boring.“As it turns out, boring wins, and Mr. Rogers is cool,” said Evers, the former state schools superintendent who turned 71 on Saturday.With just over 99 percent of the vote in, Evers and running mate Sara Rodriguez were at 51.2 percent of the vote, while Michels and his running mate Roger Roth were at 47.8 percent.By winning, Evers bucked several historical trends. He is the first guv candidate to win a race while his party was in the White House since Republican Tommy Thompson in 1990; he’s also the first Dem to pull it off in 60 years. And with a Johnson win, Evers would be the first Dem in state history to win the guv’s race when his party’s nominee lost the contest for U.S. Senate.In a short speech to supporters in Milwaukee, Michels said, “It wasn’t our night tonight, and I thank everybody for all of your support. God bless.”Michels, whose family runs a big construction company, dumped millions of his own money into winning the GOP primary and contesting the race against Evers.But according to Adimpact numbers reviewed by WisPolitics.com, Evers and the groups supporting him spent $56.9 million on paid media post-primary while Michels and his backers spent $30.4 million. Election watchers said that spending disparity allowed Dems to define Michels, endorsed by Donald Trump, on issues such as abortion and helped Evers improve his performance in top Republican areas vs. 2018 while maximizing the huge turnout in deep blue Dane County.Johnson told supporters he expected to formally declare victory this morning after the unofficial results were in.He told supporters early this morning in Neenah he saw no way for Barnes to make up the margin in their race, but was waiting for more results to come in.“I just want to give you guys the sense this race is over,” Johnson told supporters.Barnes spokesperson Maddy McDaniel said, “We always knew this race would be incredibly close. No matter what anyone says, we are committed to making sure every vote is counted. We will wait and see what the Wisconsin voters have decided after all their voices are heard.”With almost 99 percent of the vote in, Johnson led Barnes 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent, according to unofficial numbers from the Associated Press.Following Toney’s concession, Kaul thanked his GOP rival for a hard-fought race.“I’m grateful that Wisconsinites have put their trust in me to serve as attorney general for another four years, and I look forward to the work ahead of us as we continue to deliver results and work to build safer and stronger communities across the state,” Kaul said in Madison.In his Fond du Lac concession speech, Toney wished Kaul well in his second term and said he looks forward to working with him as a DA and as president of the Wisconsin District Attorney’s Association. Toney said he doesn’t “see a pathway to victory given what appears to be the limited number of votes out there.”After Toney’s concession speech, unofficial returns collected by the media briefly showed him taking a lead over Kaul. But as of this morning, with 99 percent of the vote in, Kaul led Toney 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent.Dems beat back a GOP attempt to secure a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, though Republicans were on path to clinch it in the Senate.Results were still out in several top Assembly races. Still, Republicans were on path for 64 seats – two short of the partisan margin needed in the 99-member Assembly.In the top races:*Robin Vos, R-Rochester, the longest serving speaker in Wisconsin history, beat two write-in opponents after being called a “RINO” (Republican in name only) by Trump. The former president was angered by Vos rebuffing his repeated attempts to get the speaker to side with those seeking to decertify the 2020 election. Vos said that was impossible under state law.*Dem Rep. Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, took 51 percent of the vote in beating Republican Ryan Huebsch by 757 votes. Huebsch is the son of former Assembly speaker and DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch.*Dem Rep. Tip McGuire, of Kenosha, easily beat back a challenge from Republican Ed Hibsch. Dems poured money into McGuire’s race late, fearing a backlash over the violent protests in Kenosha two years ago. But McGuire won 56.5 percent of the vote, a better performance than he had two years ago.*Dem Rep. Katrina Shankland, of Stevens Point, beat Republican Scott Soik by nearly 4,000 votes.*Dem Lori Palmeri, the Oshkosh mayor, beat Republican Donnie Herman with 53.8 percent of the vote. Republicans hammered Palmeri over her past legal troubles but she will take the seat of former Dem Minority Leader Gordon Hintz.Republican Angie Sapik was up on Dem Laura Gapske in northern Wisconsin’s 73rd AD. In the 74th AD next door, Republican Chanz Green was up on Dem John Adams.Both northern Wisconsin races were top GOP targets to flip. Republicans were all but guaranteed to win the Assembly seat of Dem Sara Rodriguez, who was elected lieutenant governor yesterday, after it was redrawn with a heavy GOP tilt.Along with picking up those seats, Republicans appeared to defend all of their holds. That includes the open 33rd AD, which Dem Rep. Don Vruwink, of Milton, was drawn into during redistricting. GOP farmer Scott Johnson was up in that race, according to unofficial returns.In the Senate, Dem Jeff Smith, of Brunswick, declared victory over Republican Jeff Estenson in the 31st.Meanwhile, the AP has declared former GOP Rep. Romaine Quinn the winner in the open 25th, flipping that seat from Dem control.Republicans Rachael Cabral-Guevara in the 19th SD and Rob Hutton in the 5th were in position to hold those seats for the GOP.Republicans needed to hold the 5th and 19th and win either the 25th or 31st to get to 22 votes, the two-thirds partisan margin in the 33-member state Senate. They are poised for a 22-11 majority in that chamber.Van Orden struck a conciliatory tone toward Pfaff after a closer-than-expected race that had the former Navy SEAL ahead 52 percent to 48 percent with 75 percent of the vote counted.National Dems abandoned Pfaff in the closing weeks of the race. Between his overwhelming fundraising advantage and help from outside groups, national pundits expected Van Orden to cruise in the race to succeed longtime western Wisconsin Cong. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse.“To Senator Pfaff, I look forward to working with you to do great things for the people of this district,” Van Orden said. “You are my State Senator and as long as we can put the people of this district first, we will continue to move Wisconsin Forward.”All seven incumbent House members from Wisconsin won reelection easily yesterday. With Van Orden, Republicans would have a 6-2 edge in the state’s congressional delegation to start the new session in January.For more perspective and to see how the races unfolded, see the Twitter rolls and stories at WisPolitics.com.For the latest results, click here.

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November 8 School Referendum

By Dee Pettack | November 1, 2022

From The Wheeler Report…

As the November 8 election approaches, we are reposting for your information a comprehensive list of school referendum on the ballot across the state.

District District Name Total Amount Type Brief Description
0014 Adams-Friendship Area $12,600,000.00 NR – 2022 To exceed the revenue limit for four years at a total cost of $12.6 million.
0147 Appleton Area $129,800,000.00 Issue Debt Issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $129,800,000 for the purpose of paying the cost of a school building and facility improvement projects.
0147 Appleton Area $5,000,000.00 RR – 2023 We would like to exceed the revenue limit by $5,000,000 annually to fund increased staffing at the K – 2 level, which would allow us to reduce class sizes, add STEM staffing at the elementary and middle levels, and fund expenses for ongoing school building maintenance, cleaning, and utility costs.
0196 Athens $5,525,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $5,525,000
0196 Athens $1,670,000.00 RR – 2022 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT FOR RECURRING PURPOSES
0217 Augusta $10,500,000.00 Issue Debt school facility improvement projects consisting of: construction of additions and renovations at the Elementary and Middle/High school, district-wide capital maintenance, building infrastructure, safety and sit improvements and furnishings, fixtures, and equipment
0217 Augusta $4,500,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of an addition for and equipping of a new gymnasium and related facility renovations and improvements at the Elementary school.
0245 Bangor $24,000,000.00 Issue Debt Capital Referendum
0350 Belleville $999,999.00 RR – 2023 To exceed the revenue limit by $999,999 beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses.
1246 Cuba City $26,850,000.00 Issue Debt Capital referendum for building and remodeling
1246 Cuba City $200,000.00 RR – 2023 Recurring Referendum
1380 Delavan-Darien $15,200,000.00 NR – 2023 4 Year Non-Recurring Operational Referendum to exceed revenue cap by $3,800,000 beginning in 2023-2024 and ending in 2026-2027
1407 Denmark $31,000,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZINGGENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN ANAMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $31,000,000
1407 Denmark $2,775,000.00 NR – 2023 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOLDISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMITBY $925,000 PER YEAR FOR THREE YEARSFOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
1554 Eau Claire Area $98,600,000.00 Issue Debt To issue $ 98,600,000 to complete capital improvement projects at 11 of our schools.
1883 Fort Atkinson $22,000,000.00 Issue Debt $22M GO Bonds for secure entries, maintenance projects, and traffic flow improvements.
1883 Fort Atkinson $3,000,000.00 RR – 2022 $3M Recurring beginning in 2022-23
1883 Fort Atkinson $13,000,000.00 NR – 2023 $4M – 2023/24$4M – 2024/25$5M – 2025/26
1890 Fox Point J2 $12,400,000.00 NR – 2023 Non-Recurring Operational Referendum to Exceed Revenue Limit by $3.1 Million per year for Four Years, 2023-24 school year through 2026-27 school year.
2044 Geneva J4 $4,500,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue cap – 2023-2024 to 2025-2026
2289 Green Bay Area $92,605,000.00 Issue Debt Question:  Shall the Green Bay Area Public School District, Brown County, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $92,605,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project consisting of:  district-wide safety, security, building infrastructure and capital maintenance improvements; renovations and facility updates to secondary schools; construction of an addition at certain district buildings; district-wide athletic facility and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment?
2303 Greenfield $20,000,000.00 NR – 2023 Resolution authorizing the School District budget exceed the revenue limit by $5,000,000 per year beginning in the 2023-24 school year and every school year thereafter, through the 2026-27 school year, for non-recurring purposes.
2534 Hilbert $8,270,000.00 Issue Debt This is to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $8,270,000 for additions and renovations to our Career and Technical Education areas, band and choir areas, locker room/fitness areas, and our lunch room/commons area.
2534 Hilbert $200,000.00 RR – 2022 This resolution will be used to fund staffing in the career and technical education area as well as acquire additional equipment for the career and technical education area.
2541 Hillsboro $3,000,000.00 NR – 2023 For non-recurring purposes to maintain District facilities and current programs.
2562 Holmen $650,000.00 RR – 2024 For recurring purposes consisting of building maintenance and technology.
2562 Holmen $74,750,000.00 Issue Debt Evergreen, Viking and Holmen Middle renovations, infrastructure, capital maintenance, safety and site improvements, Evergreen addition and Holmen Middle wing reconstruction and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment. Inclusive playground and safety surfaces at all four elementary schools.
2605 Howards Grove $39,800,000.00 Issue Debt Construction and furnishings for a middle school addition to the high school, district-wide infrastructure improvements, athletic facility work, and removal of current middle school.
2605 Howards Grove $2,900,000.00 Issue Debt Renovating, improving, and equipping the High School gymnasium and certain athletic fields and facilities located on district-owned land.
2702 Jefferson $34,000,000.00 Issue Debt District-wide safety, security and facility improvements.
2702 Jefferson $8,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction and equipping an athletic complex.
2849 La Crosse $194,700,000.00 Issue Debt Issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $194,700,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of acquisition of land for and construction of a consolidated high school and renovations and improvements to the current high school buildings for conversion into middle schools
2898 Lake Mills Area $44,000,000.00 Issue Debt New intermediate building on district-owned land
2898 Lake Mills Area $950,000.00 RR – 2024 Operational referendum for ongoing expenditures associated with a new intermediate school
3206 Loyal $6,700,000.00 NR – 2023 Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget to exceed revenue limit for five years for non-recurring purposes.
3430 Menasha $99,700,000.00 Issue Debt For the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and facilityimprovement project consisting of: the construction of a new Maplewood School on the existingsite and removal of the current building; site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings,fixtures and equipment.
3500 Merrill Area $10,000,000.00 NR – 2023 Four Year Non-Recurring referendum in the amount of $2,500,000 per year beginning with the 23-24 school year.
3549 Middleton-Cross Plains $65,470,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limits for four years, non-recurring for the expenses related to ongoing educational and extracurricular programming, and compensation, and other operational expenses.EXCEED REVENUE LIMITFOR FOUR YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
3682 Monroe $88,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of new HS and related costs and capital maintenance improvements to Abraham Lincoln Elementary School
3794 Mount Horeb Area $4,820,000.00 RR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limits by $4,820,000 beginning with the 2023-2024 school year for recurring purposes
3983 North Fond Du Lac $18,500,000.00 Issue Debt Amount not to exceed $18,500,000 for paying the cost of a school building and facility improvement projects
3983 North Fond Du Lac $2,400,000.00 NR – 2022 Exceed Revenue Limit by $800,000 for 3 years
4074 Oconto Falls $37,630,000.00 Issue Debt Capital Referendum to construct new middle school, removal of the existing middle school, secure entrances and roofs added/replaced at high school and elementary schools.
4095 Onalaska $75,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue $75,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds for Addition/Remodel of Onalaska Middle School and Onalaska High School.
4095 Onalaska $21,650,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit for operational purposes
4144 Oregon $11,400,000.00 RR – 2022 Shall the Oregon School District, Dane, Green and Rock Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $5,420,000 for the 2022-2023 school year; by an additional $3,000,000 (for a total of $8,420,000) for the 2023-2024 school year; and by an additional $2,980,000 (for a total of $11,400,000) for the 2024-2025 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of expenses to pay compensation and to sustain District instruction and operations?
4151 Parkview $6,000,000.00 NR – 2023
4151 Parkview $15,400,000.00 Issue Debt
4305 Peshtigo $39,950,000.00 Issue Debt School building and facility improvement project at the Middle/High School.
4389 Platteville $36,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Bonds in an amount not to exceed $36,000,000 for the purpose of paying the cost of improvements to school district buildings and grounds including Americans with Disabilities Act and safety improvements; cafeteria/kitchen renovations at the Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center and the High School; renovations and additions to the Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center, the Middle School and the High School; improvements to the High School outdoor activities complex; parent drive and parking safety upgrades at the Westview Elementary School; and equipment and furniture acquisition related to said projects.
4557 Prairie Farm $4,250,000.00 NR – 2023 General Operation
4613 Pulaski Community $8,500,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit for purposes consisting of compensating and providingbenefits to teachers and staff, maintaining programs and services,and operating facilities.
4613 Pulaski Community $69,800,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Debt in the amount of $69,800,000  for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project.
4641 Random Lake $29,900,000.00 Issue Debt Building and facility improvement projects.
4781 Rhinelander $16,000,000.00 NR – 2023
4872 Ripon Area $5,100,000.00 NR – 2022 The Ripon Area School District will ask voters to consider a six-year non-recurring referendum to exceed revenue limits by $850,000 to sustain general operations.
5432 Somerset $25,500,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of Auditorium, improvements to stadium, track & field, renovating building systems and capital maintenance at ES
5432 Somerset $11,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of HS gymnasium space and construction of athletic fields
5457 Southern Door County $2,925,000.00 NR – 2023 Exceed Revenue Limit by $975000 per year for three years for non recurring purposes
5457 Southern Door County $14,900,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $14,900,000
5621 Stoughton Area $36,300,000.00 Issue Debt School facility improvement project for safety, security, energy efficiency, capital maintenance, site improvements, remodeling, and removal of old structures and construction of a new maintenance facility.
5621 Stoughton Area $11,700,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of a gymnasium addition at River Bluff Middle School and removal of Community Gym building.
5628 Stratford $2,935,000.00 NR – 2022 exceed the revenue limit specified, by $190,000 for the 2022-2023 school year, by $480,000 for the 2023-2024 school year, by $875,000 for the 2024-2025 school year, and by $1,390,000 for the 2025-2026 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational expenses
5656 Sun Prairie Area $9,000,000.00 RR – 2022 to pay for expenses related to maintaining class sizes, student services and staff compensation, providingfor substitute teacher coverage, increasing mental health services for students, and ongoingsafety and facility maintenance
5733 Three Lakes $21,250,000.00 NR – 2023 Five (5) year, $4,250,000 per year, non-recurring referendum for operational expenses
5824 Two Rivers $38,700,000.00 Issue Debt Facility addition at LB Clarke Middle School, renovations and district wide improvements to security, technology, sites, building systems and playgrounds.
5901 Verona Area $19,000,000.00 RR – 2023 Exceed the revenue limit by $19,000,000 for the 2022-2023 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of expenses related to ongoing educational programming, maintaining and supporting instructional and extracurricular programs, and paying salary and other operational expenses.
5985 Viroqua Area $17,000,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION NUMBER I AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $17,000,000
5985 Viroqua Area $3,500,000.00 Issue Debt INITIAL RESOLUTION NUMBER IIAUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDSIN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $3,500,000
6118 Waterloo $3,500,000.00 NR – 2022 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT BY $700,000 PER YEAR FOR FIVE YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
6181 Waunakee Community $175,000,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of a new Heritage Elementary School on district-owned land; construction of a new middle school on district-owned land; removal of the current Heritage Elementary School building; district-wide renovations, capital maintenance and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
6181 Waunakee Community $10,000,000.00 NR – 2022 Purposes consisting of expenses related to attracting and retaining staff, operating and maintaining any additional school facilities, and maintaining current programs and services.
6195 Waupaca $3,875,000.00 Issue Debt General Obligation Bonds for the purpose of district-wide safety and security upgrades.
6216 Waupun $2,940,000.00 NR – 2022 Exceed the revenue limit by $980,000 each year for three years; 22/23, 23/24, 24/25
6251 Wauzeka-Steuben $3,352,000.00 NR – 2022 4 year non recurring operational referendum
6461 Whitewater $17,600,000.00 NR – 2023 permission to exceed the revenue limit for maintaining targeted class sizes, maintaining student support and mental health services, maintaining comprehensive instructional and co-curricular programs, and maintaining technology, safety, and facilities infrastructure.
6678 Wisconsin Dells $4,800,000.00 NR – 2022 4 Year, Non-Recurring Operational Referendum for $1,200,000 per year ($4,800,000 total) from 2022-23 until 2025-26 school year.

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SAA Gubernatorial Endorsement

By Dee Pettack | October 26, 2022

Members of the School Administrators Alliance (SAA), representing more than 4,000 public school principals, special education directors, business officials, school personnel administrators and superintendents throughout Wisconsin, have endorsed Governor Tony Evers for re-election.

SAA Executive Director Dee Pettack has issued the following statement regarding this endorsement:

“SAA does not often get involved in endorsing candidates in gubernatorial elections, as school administrators are nonpartisan in their approach to working with policymakers. However, we recognize that elections are about choices and priorities. This year, we believe the choice is so compelling and clear that we cannot remain silent. It is with pride and a clear sense of purpose for the public school children we serve that we endorse Governor Tony Evers for re-election due to his policy agenda for public school children in Wisconsin.

Governor Evers’ opponent, Tim Michels, is advancing an agenda we believe would do significant harm to public education in Wisconsin. He supports the unrestricted and unaccountable expansion of private school vouchers and no new investments in public schools. He supports the Parental Bill of Rights, legislation so recklessly drafted that legal analysts believe it would make providing a high-quality education for all students extremely difficult.

Finally, Michels supports a one-size-fits-all prescription from Madison dictating how local school leaders can spend resources on children.

Clearly, the sum total of the Michels education agenda is dramatic reductions in the resources devoted to educating Wisconsin public school children, along with a taxpayer-funded increase in the expansion of private vouchers.

Governor Evers’ education plan stands in stark contrast to Michels’ agenda. He has proposed significant new investments in special education, mental health programming, and general spending authority to meet the needs of all Wisconsin school children—no matter their zip code or their educational needs. The governor opposes the unrestricted expansion of private school vouchers and believes local school leaders are best positioned to determine funding priorities for the students they serve.

Finally, in the past four years, Governor Evers has time and again had the courage to veto harmful proposals that would have adversely affected the ability to educate children across the state.

Governor Evers understands the needs of public school children in Wisconsin. We need a governor who prioritizes educating our children and developing our future workforce.”

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WPF: Wisconsin Tax Burden Dropped Further in 2020

By Dee Pettack | October 18, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …State and local tax collections rose 1.7 percent in 2020 as Wisconsin’s tax burden hit its lowest level in decades.But the Wisconsin Policy Forum found the state’s national ranking for the highest state and local tax burden climbed to 18th from 24th in 2019. That’s largely because Wisconsin was one of 25 states that saw state and local revenues rise in 2020. The Wisconsin Policy Forum called that a testament to the state’s relatively strong economy in the early stages of the pandemic.The increase in state and local tax collections was the lowest for a fiscal year since 2015.The non-profit group found Wisconsin tax revenues in 2019-20 dropped to 10.07 percent of personal income from 10.3 percent the year before. It’s the lowest figure for the state in Census data that goes back to 1993. It’s also the third year in a row that Wisconsin was below the national average of 10.12 percent.Overall, state and local taxes rose to $31.05 billion from $30.52 billion the year before. Meanwhile, state and local taxes declined by 0.1 percent nationally.For the main sources of state and local taxes:

The Wisconsin Policy Forum noted the state’s tax burden and ranking will likely change in the next two years. For example, state tax collections rose significantly in fiscal year 2021, which will likely increase the state’s overall burden. The state’s ranking will depend, in part, on what happens in other states.Meanwhile, 2022 will include the impact of $1 billion in state income tax cuts included in the current budget. The budget also pumped significant increases in state aid to local school districts while holding overall spending caps flat. That should drive down school property taxes.See the report here.

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10/15 General Aid Run from DPI

By Dee Pettack | October 17, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction posted state general school aids on 10/15/22.  The information published includes certified general school aid amounts for each school district, as well as 2022-23 student enrollment numbers for independent charter schools and private schools participating in state parental choice programs. The enrollment numbers are used to determine the dollar amounts to be deducted or withheld from school districts’ aid payments to fund state parental choice programs.

For data and information pertaining to general school aids, read the DPI’s news release on its website.

The data published on fall student counts is unaudited and is based off enrollment counts performed on Sept. 16, 2022, the third Friday of September, and reported to the DPI.

For information pertaining to fall student counts and school district revenue limits, read the DPI’s news release on its website.

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Education Law Center Special Education Funding Report

By Dee Pettack | October 11, 2022

The National Education Law Center published a new study today based on the work done by the Wisconsin Policy Forum and with input from some of our public education advocates on Wisconsin’s special education reimbursement rateTheir findings are consistent with the information all of you have been sharing with us for many years, that districts are covering approximately $1.25 billion in unreimbursed special education costs.  Due to this being a national study, it may draw some additional attention from the media on this very important issue. 

Read the ELC’s report here, and they have a new interactive map to find the special education funding gaps in your district and region to help tell your district’s story.

Below are some quick facts regarding the state of special education funding in Wisconsin:

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Expulsion Notices Must Contain Specifics

By Dee Pettack | October 5, 2022

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm focuses on the specifics that must be contained in an expulsion notice.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates, and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the BoardmanClark Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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