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White Lake board eyes school fund referendum
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Last week, Elcho-White Lake District Administrator Bill Fisher told a state educational task force that small rural schools rely on their taxpayers to fund basic educational program.

On Thursday, the White Lake school board will likely prove his point.

At its regular January meeting, the board of education is expected to approve the legalese necessary to hold an April referendum asking voters for permission to exceed state-imposed revenue limits for the next three years.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the school library.

The district is in the final months of a three-year plan that allowed it to spend $200,000 above state-imposed limits annually. That money has been used to maintain programs.

The new approval would up that amount to $250,000 for three years.

Fisher said that the district floated its first successful revenue-limit exemption in 2001, with voters approving them since. The amounts have ranged from $200,000 to $250,000 annually for three to five years.

“This would be a continuation of what we’ve had going back to 2001,” the administrator said.

Fisher added that the district is upbeat, with completion of a building and remodeling project that included a new gymnasium and fitness center and a stable, and even growing, enrollment.

Speaking before the State Assembly’s rural schools task force in Antigo last week, Fisher said that local referendums are vital to the operation of small schools that receive little in the way of state support.

“Both of my school districts rely on operating referendums to provide basic services,” Fisher told the panel. “It’s the taxpayer dollars that fund our school districts.”

The Elcho district is being funded, in part, by a four-year, $400,000 referendum approved in April, 2013.

In other business Thursday, the White Lake board will act on a long series of policy revisions focussing mainly on school board responsibilities and preparation. The revisions to the district’s thick policy book are becoming a regular part of most board sessions.

The board will also review the number of regular and special education spaces available for full-time open enrollment.

Informational items will include a look at how the district is using productivity software and a review of last week’s hearing.


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