Northern Wisconsin School District Votes To Dissolve

A northwoods school board has voted to dissolve the district because of its shortage of funds.

Voters in the Florence School District narrowly rejected a school-funding referendum for a third time last month ... and it caused the board to schedule a Monday night vote on dissolving the district. The board voted 6-to-1 to shut down.

It's the state's only countywide school district ... but it has just 644 students split between an elementary school up to grade five and another school through high school.

School Board president Dan Brereton says the district's financial pinch results not just from the referendum defeat but from declining enrollment and rising property values in the northwoods region. He says the state school aid formula penalizes the district on both counts, with less aid as enrollment drops and also as property values go up.

The decision to dissolve, as of fall of 2006, goes to a state appeals panel.

Brereton says there's still a chance the community will come through with additional funding. Otherwise, the district's students will have to be split up among surrounding districts.