The Eau Claire Area School Board, under the leadership of WEAC member and School Board President Chris Hambuch-Boyle, has passed resolutions asking state legislators and the governor to oppose measures that would restrict the ability of school boards to raise money through referendums and to support the Wisconsin Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill.
The referendum resolution notes that due to state-imposed revenue limits, school districts often must rely on referendums to “stay viable.” The proposed referendum restrictions would disproportionately affect declining-enrollment districts and poorer districts, especially rural districts, the school board says.
“Many of these districts have come to rely on periodic referenda to maintain programming and, in some cases, to continue to exist,” it notes.
It asks legislators and the governor “to oppose these pieces of legislation that would further curtail the already very limited set of revenue options available to Wisconsin school boards.”
The Eau Claire School Board resolution supporting the Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill notes that the measure would require that property tax bills include information about any reductions in state aid resulting in pupils enrolling in the private school voucher programs. It notes that the increase in statewide property taxes due to school boards levying to offset lost aid due to the voucher program was more than $25 million in 2016-17 and is expected to grow to $37 million in 2017-18 and to $47 million in 2018-19.
Read the Eau Claire School Board resolution on school referendums:
Read the Eau Claire School Board resolution on voucher accountability: