East Troy School Board readies survey on referendum

By Tracy Ouellette

      The East Troy School Board agreed to send out a survey measuring community support for a three-year, $3 million annual operational referendum.

      The survey also asks the community about its support for a capital improvement referendum to take care of the facility needs in the district.

      The board’s goal with the recent referendum workshops is to inform the public of the district’s dire need for additional funding. The district has cut costs every year for the past 16 years to the tune of $10.2 million and has reached the point of not being able to make more cuts without severe cuts to staffing and programming in the district.

      District Administrator Chris Hibner said the board has worked hard to identify the challenges facing the district.

      “The East Troy Community School District does not have enough predictable and stable funding to maintain quality educational support for students, to attract and retain quality staff in a competitive market and maintain its facilities,” Hibner said at Monday night’s meeting.

      The simple fact of the matter, Hibner said, was that revenue has not kept up with expenses.

      Hibner said East Troy is not the only school district facing these challenges.

      “Just this year, just 2022, we have had 166 school district referendums (in the state), including 81 on the November ballot. That’s the highest referendum count since 2001, when there were 167,” Hibner told the board.

      The School Board discussed, at length, the details of the survey, which will be sent out soon. The board will also have a public informational meeting during the time the survey will be in the public’s hands.

      “This is not necessarily we’re going to referendum,” Hibner said. “This is a survey for the board to learn more about what the community wants the schools to be.”

      In the survey, the district proposes a three-year, $3 million annual operational referendum, which would increase property taxes $167 per every $100,000 of property value.

For the full story, please see the print edition of the East Troy Times or News.

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