The operational referendum that voters approved four years ago will expire at the end of this school year.
In order to help us maintain our current operational programs and services, the Board of Education is asking our voters to support an extension of the operational referendum for another four years when they go to the polls on November 8, 2022.
In the last ten years, nearly 350 districts across the state (about 83%) have passed referendums to help with ongoing budget challenges and keep facilities and programs running. In our region alone, 92% of CESA 4 school districts have supported referendums.
In recent years, the district has received COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government. This money has helped us expand mental health services for students and complete facility projects without taking on debt. However, this one-time funding does not address long-term financial needs.
After carefully studying our needs and financial outlook, the district is proposing a $750,000 replacement operational referendum for each of the next four years. Because of careful financial planning, this replacement will not increase taxes over the current level.
An operational referendum question asks voters to approve additional funding above the annual revenue limit to maintain class sizes, programs, and student services. Funds secured are used within the year they are received. These funds are critical for maintaining the day-to-day operations and programs in our district.
Our current operational referendum funding will end next year. We are receiving COVID-19 relief from the federal government. This money helped us expand mental health services for students and complete some facility projects without taking on debt. However, this is a one-time funding source and does not address long-term financial needs. The District’s tax mill rate (which is used to calculate the school district’s share of local property taxes) dropped nearly 13 percent compared to last year. We put aside funds for facility maintenance, which helps us avoid taking out a loan and paying interest. After studying our needs and financial outlook, we are proposing a $750,000 replacement operational referendum for each of the next four years.
Cuts will have to be made to a number of programs across the district. Survey results will help determine what cuts are made. While the District does not endorse any of the following, we must consider all options to reduce expenses:
Reduce Athletic/Co-Curricular offerings
Reducing the number of teachers / increasing class sizes
Reducing college credit and elective course offerings
Reduce learning support systems
Reduce busing services
Delaying technology updates
Reduce annual facility maintenance budget