Local School Funding Referendums Saw Huge Success This Week In Wisconsin

Voters in Chippewa and Rusk Counties voted with an overwhelming majority this week to spare a school district from having to be dissolved. Their decision was in line with dozens of other school funding referendums that passed successfully statewide this week.

More than 70 percent of voters in the Lake Holcombe School District approved a $2 million referendum to help cover operational costs through 2019. The district board of education had said if the referendum didn’t pass, they’d likely have to dissolve the district.

Lake Holcombe Superintendent Jeff Mastin said he’s proud of the citizen support.

“It’s a passion that our community has for their school and their children,” he said. “I think it was something that we made sure we communicated well and communicated often in a variety of ways to make sure people got the message and knew what the information was so they could make an informed vote.”

According to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, voters approved more than three-fourths of the 71 referendums on local ballots across the state on Election Day.

“I think there’s a recognition that the public believes there should be more money for our public schools, and they are willing to vote to increase their own property taxes in support of providing more money for their schools. And that’s an important statement, I think,” said the group’s government relations director Dan Rossmiller.

He said voters understand referendums are the new way to fund schools.

Most referendum questions were related to school building projects and allowing a district to exceed revenue limits. Two more referendums will go to voters this year in Cudahy and Prescott.