More than 70 Wisconsin school building and tax increase referendums were decided — and voters said yes to five-of-seven other building proposals of more than $30-million dollars each. Large projects were approved in Mukwonago, Ashland, Menomonee Falls, Muskego-Norway, and Ellsworth — while voters said no to borrowing for projects in Grafton and Peshtigo.
This will have two ill effects on the Wisconsin taxpayers. First, the tax increases will be jealously coveted by neighboring districts. I expect to see a lot more referenda later this year and next year.
Second, I suspect that politicians will see this as a sign that the taxpayers as a whole want an increase in spending on schools and the subsequent tax increases to pay for it. In particular, don’t be surprised to see some Republican senators running for election saying that they will “fix” school funding. This doesn’t bode well for the next legislative session.
Schools are too important to be run by government. This is what happens. 19th century thinking in a 21st Century World.
Building space needed should shrink, not expand.
What about the SDs that needed a referendum just to keep the lights on like many in the north and northwest? Our district kept solvent this (2016-2017) year with teacher layoffs, cutting elective classes, and retirements. Next year we will have a short-fall of ~$1 million. No massive building projects, just the fallout from flat property values, severe reductions in state aids (much attributable to voucher school funding), and how levy limits affected already frugal districts. We have some of the highest SAT and ACT scores in the state yet are being punished by the current administration for being well managed.
You guys really need to get a better handle on the operations of school districts beyond putting labels the on the SB members.
“Schools are too important to be run by the government.”
Right Kevin. Let’s go back to pre-Wisconsin Constitution timeframe and stick with a small percentage of the children being educated in a religious school. The real problem is you don’t want to admit that public schools along with public roads and public utilities are all socialist plots to undermine you tea partiers!