By Michael S. Hoey


Three area legislators sent a joint response to the Delavan-Darien School District dated May 23 in reply to a letter the district sent to them on May 4. The legislators were State Sen. Steve Nass and State Reps. Amy Loudenbeck and Tyler August. A copy of the district’s letter was also sent to Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers.

The district’s letter was a plea to the legislators to do more to help the district’s financial situation. The district failed to pass a referendum April 3 for operating expenses and facility upgrades at Delavan-Darien High School. As a result of the failure and an accounting error made by former Business Manager Mark Powell, the district laid off 39 teachers and closed Darien Elementary School to close a budget gap.

The district’s letter was written by board member Ron Deschner and signed by six of the seven school board members, not including Monica Los. The letter outlined the funding formula that was established in the early 1990s that the board feels has unfairly penalized the district for being a financially conservative district when the formula was set.

The letter said the board has been disappointed in the legislative response to the district’s previous requests for the issue to be addressed. Outgoing Superintendent Robert Crist has been to Madison twice to present the issue, the district has written to Gov. Scott Walker by letter and via email, and the district sent a petition with 1,635 signatures to legislators, Walker and a Blue Ribbon Committee on Education asking for fair funding.

“Our school district has worked diligently with limited funding to provide the best possible education for our students,” the letter said. “Our mission has become increasingly difficult with open enrollment, which causes us to lose more students to neighboring public schools.”

For more on what the letter said and how legislators responded, see the June 21 Delavan Enterprise.


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