Joint #1 Announces Referendum for April 2021

Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District Announces Referendum for April 2021 Ballot
Posted on 12/09/2020
Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District Announces Referendum for April 2021 Ballot

On December 8, 2020, the Lake Geneva Joint #1 School Board made the decision to go to referendum on April 6, 2021. The voters will be asked to approve the exceeding of the revenue limit by $750,000 for the 2021-2022 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of ongoing operational expenses to address issues in the District. If approved by voters, these funds will provide the district with the necessary resources to maintain current district programming and services.


“The District is seeking $750,000 annually in additional revenue above its current revenue limit,” stated Dr. James Gottinger, District Administrator. Gottinger went on to say, “an operational referendum allows the District to maintain educational programming and class sizes, retain staff, and address safety and technology needs.”


The need for the additional $750,000 outlined by the District is a result of fixed expenses continuing to rise, the increased demand for technology and school safety within the four schools, as well as the substantial decrease in revenue due to declining enrollments. 


“The Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District has already made budget reductions in the 2019-2020 year through staffing reductions of $1.5 million dollars,” Gottinger stated. According to Gottinger, the referendum will enable the district to maintain optimal class sizes, as well as maintain strong academic programs, continue to support a wide array of elective programs, and retain and attract highly qualified staff. “The district's current programs have effectively seen all of our elementary schools recognized as five-star schools by the State of Wisconsin (the state’s highest ranking) as well as a National Blue Ribbon designation for Star Center Elementary. These resources will help us maintain these excellent programs that have brought us this recognition,” Gottinger said.


If the referendum passes in April by the voters, the impact to taxpayers will be minimal, if any. “More and more school districts across the state have gone to referendum to meet their budgetary needs and we are one of the last to ask,” stated Lake Geneva Schools Business Administrator, George Chironis.  “Over the past six years, the tax rate for Lake Geneva Joint #1 has steadily declined and the referendum needs will have little or no tax impact on the community. The Lake Geneva Joint #1 District will see a tax rate that is still less than 2019-2020,” he added.


The last referendum for Lake Geneva Joint #1 was held and approved in 2006 for an addition to Star Center Elementary School which doubled the size of the school.


A referendum information hub located on lakegenevaschools.com will be created to keep the public informed and public informational sessions will be planned.


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