School board referendum passes with large margin
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Residents have voted in favor of additional funding for local schools.
Residents voted in favor of an additional recurring $3.5 million for annual operating costs for programming, technology and ongoing maintenance. Residents also voted to borrow $75.9 million dollars for safety and security upgrades, as well as additional upgrades to technology, classroom remodels, and other needed areas.
With this referendum passing, it avoids potential budget cuts for the 2019-20 school budget. Projects that have been necessary for sometimes decades will move forward, with a focus on maintenance, safety, and security first. According to Superintendent Craig Gerlach, improvements to SPASH will be first on the list of projects.
District 71 Representative Katrina Shankland commented on the passing referendum:
“The results are clear: our community overwhelmingly supports funding our public schools and ensuring every kid has the opportunity to succeed,” said Shankland. “I’m looking forward to advocating for stronger investments in public education in the state legislature so in the future, we won’t have to rely on local taxpayers to make the investments the state should be prioritizing in the first place. I appreciate the local leaders who worked hard to educate the community on this important issue, and look forward to seeing our community’s investment in school safety upgrades, maintenance, and educational programming come to fruition.”
The total unofficial votes for exceeding the revenue limit passed with 18,000 votes for and 9,071 votes against.
The total unofficial votes in favor of borrowing $75.9 million passed with 18,345 votes for with 8,484 against.