Administrator's Monthly Update

Peggy Larson

District Administrator - Peggy Larson

March Update

You may have heard in the news media about a scheduled Walk Out organized by students to protest gun violence and to remember the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.  Winneconne Community School District (WCSD) was prepared for the walk out, but did not sponsor or organize the activity.  Wednesday, March 14, about 75 Winneconne High School students and 50 or so Winneconne Middle School students participated in the National School Walkout at 10 AM.   The walk out lasted for 17 minutes in remembrance of every person killed in Parkland at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The 125 students were respectful and purposeful.

On a completely different topic, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 835 into law on Monday, March 12.  This new law allows for more sparsity aid and an increase to the revenue limit for low-spending school districts.  Winneconne Community School District is considered a low-spending school district.  Here is what we know about how this new law will affect us.    

This bill increases the revenue limit for low-spending districts from $9100 per pupil to $9400 in the 2018-19 school year.  It would increase by $100 each following year until it reaches $9800.  As a comparison, the statewide average for school spending was $10,312 per pupil in the 2015-16 school year.  Our revenue limit is set at $9231.  As a result of this legislation, next year, we will be allowed to raise our revenue limit to $9400.  The following year to $9500, etc.

When the Legislature enacted revenue limits in the early 1990s, the State put a limit on the amount of money a school district could raise through property taxes and general aid.  The limit is based on enrollment changes, an inflationary increment, and the district's prior year controlled revenue.  WCSD was considered low-spending in the early 1990’s  and we remain low-spending.  This being said, for the last 25 years plus the district has struggled to “keep up,” and our only remedy to avoid programming cuts was to seek a referendum for operational costs.  This new law raises the revenue limit for low-spending districts such as ours, thereby reducing the dollar amount we may need to raise through a voter-approved operating referendum.  The new money amounts to approximately $255,000, bringing our 2018-19 predicted deficit from $600,000 to $345,000.  It does not solve our entire deficit nor does it get us to the State average, but it is does provide some relief.  It is still likely we will need to renew our operational referendum for STEAM and the WCAC in 2021-22 as the money to operate those spaces will expire, and is outside our current revenue limit. 

The school board and I are committed to keeping the community informed about the District’s progress. If you ever have questions about our school district, feel free to contact me at (920) 582-5802 ext. 3141. 

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