On Tuesday, April 1, the Rubicon Joint #6 School District will present two referendum questions to the voters.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Like all Wisconsin public school districts, Rubicon depends on local property tax dollars and money from the state to pay for teachers, the building, and all costs related to running a school. Over the past several years, the state has reduced the amount of money it provided to Saylesville School, like other schools in the state. The Rubicon Board of Education has taken several specific cost reduction steps, including cutting programs and expenses across the board, using Act 10 to freeze teachers’ salaries and have them pay more for their health insurance, and exploring consolidation with other districts. The Board of Education is currently talking with the Hartford Jt #1 and Herman School Districts about possible consolidation, but discussions are very preliminary.
On April 1, the Rubicon Jt. #6 Board of Education will ask voters to approve allowing Rubicon to exceed its state-imposed revenue limits by $450,000 for each of the next three years, starting in 2014. The money will be used to keep the school operating as it does today and will not be used for extra teachers or programs. If this referendum does not pass, the district will run out of money and will be not able to properly educate its students.
The Board of Education is asking the voters a second question because other referendums failed. It is an advisory question only and does not mean that the Board of Education has to abide by the results. Instead, the Board of Education will use the results as input to their decision-making. The question asks if voters want the board to dissolve the district. Dissolving the district means that the Rubicon School District will no longer exist and students will have to go to other districts to attend schools.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER APRIL 1
If the referendum question seeking to exceed the revenue caps by $450,000 for each of the next three years passes, the Board of Education will use the money to keep operating the district as it operates now while still exploring long-term cost saving measures, including consolidation with other school districts.
If the referendum question seeking to exceed the revenue caps by $450,000 for each of the next three years does not pass, the Board of Education will continue to seek consolidation with another school district (if another is willing) and vote on whether to dissolve (close) the school district.
If the referendum question seeking to exceed the revenue caps by $450,000 for each of the next three years does not pass AND the advisory referendum question asking if the district should be dissolved passes, the Board of Education will vote on whether to dissolve (close) the school district.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A DISTRICT IS CONSOLIDATED?
The two districts create a new district with a new Board of Education and new school district boundaries. Students may or may not go to the same school as before. It will be up to the new school board to determine which schools stay open and which close.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A DISTRICT IS DISSOLVED?
The process takes about two years and the state Department of Public Instruction decides where the district students go and what happens to district property. The state will divide properties into other school districts and residents will have no choice in the new district they will be paying taxes to.
REFERENDUM INFORMATION MEETINGS
- March 20 (Thur) at 6:30PM
- March 31st (Mon) at 6:30PM