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Marshfield School referendum explained


MARSHFIELD, WI (WSAU) With voters in Marshfield facing a school district funding referendum for $2.5 million dollars per year for the next four years, school officials say that they want voters to fully understand why the referendum is needed.

Pat Saucermen is the district’s director of business services. He says, “It kind of stems back to what happened about 20 years ago with revenue caps. At that time legislation was enacted and it said that whatever a school district was spending at the time, they were simply locked into that level. It just so happened that here in Marshfield in 1993 when these laws were enacted, that we were a very low spending district. So what happened was that each year now is based on that calculation. We’re always finding ourselves really getting less revenue based on a school district our size than most school districts in the state receive.”

Saucerman says that even if the $2.5 million-dollar-per-year measure passes, the schools’ impact on tax rates would actually go down since another $3 million-dollar per year referendum expires at the end of this year, resulting in an overall decrease in the tax rate. Funding from the referendum represents about 5% of the school district’s annual operating budget.

Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction announced on October 16th that the Marshfield School District will receive $400,000 less in state aid this year. About $300,000 of the aid Marshfield was eligible for will go to the Milwaukee Charter School System instead.

(You can listen to Mr. Saucerman's statement by clicking on the application above.)