Fifteen school districts around Wisconsin won building project referendums worth $290 million on Nov. 7, and voters in several districts also voted to raise their tax levies a collective $51 million beyond the state spending caps.
Those results pleased a top state school board official, but he said it only shows how desperate times have become for many local districts, and that school advocates will be urging a re-examination of Wisconsin’s school funding formula.
John Ashley, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, said the number of districts that succeeded in getting approval of referendums showed voters value education and are willing to invest in future generations.
“I’m very, very happy for these districts because it’s a matter of life and death for many of them,” he said. “But I’m saddened at the number who didn’t get their referendums passed.”