School referendums pass in overwhelming numbers

Voters throughout Wisconsin showed enormous support for their neighborhood public schools on Tuesday, approving 82% of school referendums. The Department of Public Instruction reported that 55 of 67 referendums were approved.

The large number of referendums are the result of Governor Walker and Republican legislators gutting the funding for public schools at the state level, sending much of the money instead to private voucher schools and privately run charter schools. In order to preserve quality public education in their communities, citizens have reverted to taxing themselves at the local level to ensure their children have opportunities for success, said WEAC President Ron Martin.

“The people we elect to represent us in Madison should keep in mind, as they develop the next state budget, that Wisconsin loves its public schools and we are counting on them to work for us, not against us,” he said.

WEAC provided support to local associations in nearly 25 percent of Tuesday’s referendums, and in all but one of those questions achieved success. In that case, voters supported a question to exceed revenue limits but struck down a building upgrade proposal.

Among the largest school referendums that passed on Tuesday:

Sun Prairie: Citizens voted nearly 2 to 1 to spend $89.5 million to build two elementary schools and purchase land for future building projects, as well as $2.8 million to fund the operations of the two new elementary schools.

Eau Claire: Voters approved spending $87.9 million to exceed revenue limits over 14 years for staff, building maintenance, safety and security improvements, class size, technology and debt service for capital improvement projects.

Germantown: Voters agreed to spend $84 million for district-wide capital improvements, a fieldhouse, a performing arts center, and a swimming pool.

McFarland: Voters approved spending $65.1 million for district-wide facilities improvements, plus $1.1 million for operational costs associated with maintaining current educational programming and $232,000 for operational costs associated with expanded facilities.

Oconomowoc: Voters approved spending $54.9 million for district-wide building and improvement projects.

Beaver Dam: Voters approved spending $48.9 million for renovations and improvements at the high school and safety and security improvements district-wide.

Franklin: Voters passed a $43.3 million referendum to fund construction of a new middle school and tearing down the current middle school.

Other large referendums and the amounts approved include $36 million in Waupun, $30.9 million in Sheboygan Falls, $29 million in Sheboygan, $28.4 million in Kewaskum, $26 million in Madison, $24.7 million in Melrose-Mindoro, $23.4 million in Campbellsport, $22.9 million in Elkhorn, $22 million in Lodi, $21.9 million in Baraboo, and $20.7 million in Belleville.

Click HERE for DPI’s complete list of school referendum results. (You must filter the data to November 8.)

Click HERE for a list of Wisconsin election results for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and for State Senate and Assembly.