Waupun School District Voters Will See Operations Referendum Question On Fall Ballot

(Waupun) Waupun School District voters will see an operations referendum on their ballot next month. The question will ask residents to allow the district to exceed the state’s revenue limits by $980-thousand-dollars annually for three years. Steven Hill is the district administrator.

“As we really kind of looked at our budget process for this year, we realized that we just are not going to be able to make the budgetary needs to meet the high expectations we have for our district and what our community expects from their school system,” says Hill.

If approved, the funds would go towards maintaining current programming and operations amid rising costs and stagnate state aid and enrollment.

Business Manager Caroline Hintze says, “in the 21-23 biannual budget for the state the normal revenue increase the districts get which is an increase in the per-pupil amount that we can levy and get from state aid, they chose to freeze that amount.”

“Where historically we get an increase every year that helps us cover escalating costs, but last year and this year we are stuck at the amount that we were in the year before.”

Hill adds that the cost of special education has also led to funding challenges.

“So, a study was just released that $1.25-billion-dollars are going unfunded in the state of Wisconsin towards special education,” says Hill. “So, what does that look like in a district like Waupun…our special education costs are about $3.3-million-dollars. We get reimbursed from the state about $675,000 of that, federal reimbursements are about $480,000. So, the unfunded portion of students costs in the Waupun School District is $2.1-million-dollars.”

If the referendum is approved, the district’s mill rate would be $7.28 per-one-thousand-dollars of assessed value. If it is voted down it would be $6.48. Both are lower than the current mill rate of $7.63.

The public is encouraged to attend several upcoming listening sessions about the referendum. The next one is Thursday, October 20th, from 4 to 7pm at the Rock River Intermediate School. There is one scheduled on October 24th at 5:30pm at the SAGES Charter School library and on October 25th at 11am at the Waupun Senior Center.

Click HERE for more information about the Waupun School District referendum.