2021 Spring Election provides mixed results for area school referendums
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Dozens of school referendums were decided upon by voters in Tuesday’s Spring Election in Wisconsin, with roughly half of them passing statewide.
As of Wednesday, 41 of 70 referendum items for school districts in the state of Wisconsin had passed in the 2021 Spring Election, with seven results pending statewide. In western and northwestern Wisconsin, only five of 12 referendum questions passed, the largest being a $24.5 million question approved by voters in the Barron Area School District.
Here is a look at area schools and the results of their referendums in the 2021 Spring Election.
Voters in the Alma Center School District approved a $4.9 million referendum that will be used towards capital maintenance, energy efficiency projects, and a new athletic complex. According to a Facebook post, the school district hopes to begin construction this summer on the various projects it wants to address in the referendum.
Bangor School District voters overwhelmingly approved of a $2.7 million referendum to allow the district to exceed the revenue cap by $900,000 for each of the next three years. In presenting the referendum, Bangor School District stated on their district site that the money will go towards continuing student programs, services, offerings, and facility maintenance.
Two referendum questions were on the ballot for Barron Area School District voters, with split results. By 12 votes, a $24.5 million referendum to secure infrastructure and security funding passed, while a $1.9 million referendum for a child care facility failed.
Bruce School District voters passed a $2 million referendum that will be used for operating expenses at $400,000 per year over the next five years. In a Facebook post, the district says it will use the funds for technology upgrades, bus replacement, and maintenance.
In Cumberland, voters rejected a $32.5 million plan to make additions and improvements to the middle school and high school campus. Some of the proposed projects included major updates to existing facilities and reconstruction of other areas into flexible use space, as well as safety and HVAC updates. In a Facebook post, Cumberland School District Superintendent Dr. Barry Rose thanked voters for taking the time to decide on the referendum, and stated that the administration will evaluate future plans for the district.
Another district in northwestern Wisconsin saw both of its referendums fail on the ballots. Grantsburg School District voters rejected a $17.9 million plan to renovate multiple schools within the district. Voters also overwhelmingly rejected a referendum for more than $4 million for a new multi-purpose gym at the high school.
Grantsburg wasn’t the only district in the western portion of Wisconsin to see two ballot items fail. Voters in the St. Croix Central School District turned down a $4.85 million referendum that would have allowed the district to exceed the state’s revenue caps by $350,000 each year through 2030, with a $1.7 million boost in the upcoming 2021-22 school year. A $22.5 million referendum that would have added technical programs and an on-campus 4K learning center failed by 128 votes.
A $2.1 million referendum question failed on the ballots in the Independence School District by 14 votes. Passage would have allowed the district to exceed revenue limits for three years at $700,000 each year, which would have been tabbed for operating expenses and programming, according to a district newsletter.
In the Luck School District, voters passed a $6.98 million referendum to update school facilities, including a FEMA grant-aided shelter at the high school.
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