|Big Foot referendum seeks additional revenue|
|Written by Dan Plutchak|
|Friday, 15 March 2013 13:54|
WALWORTH — Unfunded state mandates and a decrease in state funding contributed to a deficit, forcing the hand of Big Foot Union High School.
The district’s school board has placed a referendum on the April 2 ballot that calls for a recurring $300,000 for the 2013-’14 school year and an additional $350,000 for the 2014-’15 school year. The $650,000 would become a permanent part of the school’s tax base.
The total increase in tax is expected to be $0.24 per $1,000 of value. This translates to $24 per year on a $100,000 home and $48 for a $200,000 property.
The board, administrative team, teachers and support staff have been meeting the past three years to address these needs and concerns, and according to information in a school brochure, the referendum was designed to tackle these issues while “… continuing to offer and provide educational programming that reflects best practice, maintains current levels of extracurricular activities, maintains our facility today and in the future and provides to our students/faculty the equipment, materials and technology they need in order to deliver educational excellence.”
The district has dealt with a number of funding issues because of the reduction in state and federal funding, and thus borrowed from its general fund balance: $110,493 in 2010-’11; $199,218 in 2011-’12; and a projected $194,793 for 2012-’13 to balance its budget.
Among the several unfunded mandates from Madison are changes required to close graduation and testing gaps and other educational requirements.
Maintenance and facility needs include an updated security entrance, asphalt resurfacing, replacement of flooring/carpeting and compressors and retrofitting controls on the Trane rooftop unit in the library.
In the near future, the Wisconsin Legislature will require schools to hire additional teachers in math and science, which could lead to reducing teachers in other areas.
For more information
Big Foot school board members are taking responsibility to respond to different areas of the district. Citizens are invited to contact board members directly with questions about the referendum.