Referendum Vision

October 7, 2020
Wisconsin Heights School District
Referendum – November 3, 2020

It’s About a District, Not About a Building

Since the Wisconsin Heights School Board approved a capital referendum question for the November 3 ballot, providing relevant information to the district’s residents has been and continues to be a top priority. We have shared information through multiple formats – social media, website, mailers, online meetings, and videos. We hope you have found these facts helpful as you make this important decision on November 3.

A current narrative circulating in our community is that by voting “no”, residents are “saving our schools”. While this would save the physical school structures, voting no will not save the Wisconsin Heights School District. Rather, voting no simply means that more of the district’s operating budget would need to be reallocated to those buildings rather than student learning and programming. Three years of research indicates our district will save approximately $600,000 a year in operational costs by moving to a one-campus model. The cost of updating the existing elementary schools is $21 million with minimal savings of future operational costs. While the cost of a new elementary school is $22 million, there are ongoing savings to be realized in operational costs. If the term of the loan is twenty years and the district saves $600,000 in operational costs each year, over the course of the loan, the district gains approximately $12 million. This $12 million, in turn, helps reduce the amount of money needed through operational override referendums. Clearly, a one-campus proposal makes fiscal sense for the district’s long-term financial solvency.

Understandably, a great deal of nostalgia and emotion is attached to a building you may have attended, or your parents/grandparents may have attended. We encourage you to think of your children and grandchildren, how their world is very different than the one that existed decades ago. To provide current and future students of the Wisconsin Heights School District a world-class education, the research would indicate we need substantial improvements.

Our district and all schools are much more than their facilities. Our district is made up of a staff that puts forth sincere effort to live up to our motto – Every Child, Every Class, Every Day. It has now been 26 years since our district invested in learning/working environments that nurture peak performance.

The vote on November 3, 2020, is not about saving a school building. It is about a future-focused vision for a school district that has recently attained unprecedented levels of academic success. It is about making wise financial decisions to lower operating costs while also providing top-notch learning environments for all students. We implore you to cast an informed vote on November 3, 2020. Together we will continue to reach new heights!

Sincerely,
Mr. James Kartman – School Board President
Mr. Jordan Sinz – District Administrator