On April 2, Marshall Public Schools will encourage residents to vote for an operating referendum to authorize exceeding the current revenue limit by $1.25 million beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
A successful operational referendum is needed to recruit/retain quality staff, provide college/advanced placement/elective courses, update instructional resources, provide up-to-date technology, maintain reasonable class sizes, and offer a variety of co-curricular programs. Of the $1.25 million, $875,000 would be allocated on a recurring (permanent) basis. The remaining $375,000 would be allocated on a non-recurring (temporary) basis for the 2019-2022 school years, three years. Please note that the April 2 ballot will contain only one question: authorization of exceeding the revenue limit by $1.25 million through recurring and non-recurring basis.
In February 2016, residents approved an $875,000 non-recurring operational referendum that will expire at the end of this school year, June 30, 2019. The 2016 commitment to the schools passed with a 59.9 percent voter approval.
Even with resident support for operational referendums over the past six years, Marshall Public Schools continues to make budget cuts. For example, even with a successful referendum on April 2, the district anticipates needing to cut about $300,000 going into the 2019-2020 school year. State funding for public schools has limited the district’s ability to operate and maintain our schools without local taxpayer referendum support.
“Because non-recurring referendums provide only temporarily relief from revenue limits and because costs increase over time, school boards and districts find themselves in a position of having to go to district voters with increasingly larger requests when those temporary referendums expire. The alternative is significant—some would say devastating—cuts to school district programs and staff. The legislature has not provided a per pupil adjustment in revenue limits since the 2014-15 school year, limiting school districts’ ability to raise additional funds locally, except by obtaining referendum approval from voters,” reminds Dan Rossmiller Wisconsin Association of School Board director of government relations.
The district strives to provide voters with the information needed to make an informed decision on April 2. Please consider attending a presentation in the elementary school library at 7 p.m. on March 19, where the operational referendum will be discussed in further detail. If you are unable to attend on March 19 and have additional questions or if your organization would like an individual presentation, contact Superintendent Daniel Grady at email@example.com or 608-655-3466.