Citizens are invited to Public Hearing on Potential Referendum

The Board of Education of the School District of Menomonee Falls is asking citizens to come to the Nov. 14 school board meeting to provide their voice on a potential referendum on April 4, 2017.

Citizens are invited to attend the public hearing at 6 p.m. at Village Hall on Nov. 14 and provide written or voice statement. Citizens who cannot attend are encouraged to write the board via U.S. Mail at W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 or via email at board@sdmfschools.org.

“We want people to weigh in on this,” said Dr. Pat Greco, District Superintendent. “The board wants that community feedback, not just through a survey but really have the community have a voice in that process.”

Last April the school district had two questions on the ballot, one for facilities, which passed and one for a permanent operational funding increase which failed.

“When we asked last April, we were asking for a permanent change, a 2 percent lift in our revenue limit,” Greco said. “What we’re looking at now, is a temporary 3-year lift in the revenue limit.”

Even with increases to employees’ contribution to their health care and a 7 percent budget reduction across all divisions, the district is still facing a $1 million deficit each year for the next three years.

One of the reasons for the budget crunch is declining enrollment, which the district believes is leveling out as total enrollment both this year and last year did not hit the projected low that was anticipated.

“It would afford us the ability to take a look in those three years at what the state legislature is going to do with the revenue cap freeze and what happens with our own enrollment,” Greco said. “This next three years will give us the opportunity to look at what will happen in those areas.”

Since 2010, the district’s revenue limit, which is determined by the state, has not been pacing with inflation, and in the last two years has been completely frozen. If approved, the 2 percent lift would be put toward maintaining small class sizes, neighborhood schools and course offerings.

“Regardless of the outcome, we will stay a strong school district that is committed to high-quality education and great customer care,” Greco said. “It would change the design of the elementary schools, it would impact the range of programming that we would provide; both of those have been community values.”

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