The following information is a revision of frequently asked questions presented to the School District of Rhinelander and the Board of Education following the approval of an upcoming referendum that seeks to increase the levy for operational purposes.
Why a referendum?
Because State revenues do not cover our per student expenditures – which are more than $2,000 per student less than neighboring districts. Because we will experience a deficit of $3 million in the next school year, more than $4 million in the 2014-15 school year, and more than $5 million in the 2015-16 school year which totals over $12 million throughout the next three years.
Why didn’t we use construction funds?
Tax revenues generated through a construction referendum cannot be used for operating costs. The previous referendum that was passed was for $13.7 million for construction, and $1.5 per year for operations for three years, ending in June 2013.
What will happen if the referendum doesn’t pass?
Earlier this month, the school board approved cuts totaling more than $3 million for next school year to balance the budget. These cuts would include eliminating more than 35 positions, the elimination of SAGE, the closure of Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) and Northwoods Community Secondary School (NCSS) charter schools, a reduction or elimination of advanced course offerings including AP classes, co-curricular and course electives. The items listed above are core items that truly set the SDR apart from other school districts.
How much will this cost me?
$8.75 per month on a home valued at $100,000.
The current mill rate is $9.24 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the referendum passed, there would be an increase of $1.05 per $1,000 of assessed value.
How do I receive more information?
For more information, visit the school district’s website or contact Marta Kwiatkowski, Director of Business Services – (715) 365-9700, ext. 5734