Question #1 on the April 3rd referendum ballot asks for renewal of the current non-recurring
operating referendum to increase the revenue limit by $675,000 per year for three years.
Question #2 is a capital question for the amount of $5,500,000 for the cost of facility
improvements. These improvements include the addition of four classrooms, including a
STEM science classroom, expansion of the cafeteria/multi-purpose room, safety and security
upgrades to both school entrances, replacement of the elementary roof section, updates to
classrooms, and building mechanical upgrades.
By State Statute and law, school districts must separate referendum questions for operational
needs and for debt services.
An operational referendum asks voters for permission to exceed the state imposed revenue limit for the purpose of funding annual school operations. Costs associated for school operations include, but are not limited to: teacher and support staff salary and benefits, student technology software and devices, curriculum and student programming, utility and transportation costs, and general maintenance and custodial expenses.
The referendum ballot question includes the term “debt service,” which allows the District to issue debt to pay for capital improvements (classroom and cafeteria expansion and security upgrades) and maintenance projects (elementary roof and classroom upgrades). The District plans to issue $5,500,000 in debt to complete these projects over the next two years and pay off the debt in 12 years.
The projected impact of the referendum will be an $88 tax increase in 2018-19 on a $200,000 home.
There will be no additional increase in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
What is the difference between a recurring and non-recurring referendum to increase the revenue limi
School districts may run two types of operational referenda, recurring and nonrecurring. A recurring referendum means a school district will be able to levy that additional amount forever, without going back to the community periodically for permission to exceed the revenue limit. A non-recurring referendum means a school district can levy that additional amount for the period of time defined in the resolution. If a school district requests a three-year non-recurring referendum, its revenue limit reverts to the State of Wisconsin’s limit at the end of the three years. This option was chosen because it provides a sunset for the referendum and allows residents to make an informed choice in future years.
Tax Rate (Mill Rate) is a function of total School Levy divided by property wealth (Equalized value of the District). Randall has the lowest tax rate of all K-8 districts in the Wilmot High School consortium. A successful referendum will still maintain the LOWEST Mill Rate for all K-8 feeder districts to Wilmot High School. The Randall School Board is xtremely proud of this distinction and is committed to being fiscally responsible while providing the best educational opportunities for students.
Although many reductions have been made and several cost-avoidance steps taken, the revenue permitted based by the State-imposed revenue limit is not sufficient to provide the services that the children of Randall need or that our community expects. Under the current State formula, the revenue limit is insufficient to continue our current educational programs and services. Wisconsin’s Revenue Cap funding formula caps spending for Randall School District at $9,342 per student. The State average for spending per student is $10,439. That is a difference of nearly $1,100. This shortfall reduces the district’s revenue by over $600,000 per year. In addition, the district has seen a significant drop in school aid since 2008-09. The amount has been reduced by $1,051,823 which totals a near 40% reduction in State aid to the district in the last ten years.
The only way to increase the amount of revenue available is to have public permission, through the referendum election, to exceed the revenue limit.
Since 2010, the following reductions have been implemented:
- Staff started paying 50% of their retirement for an annual savings of $245,900
- Employee contribution for health insurance for an annual savings of $138,700
- Significant health insurance plan design changes
- Reduced an administrative position to part-time
- Development of a Wilmot Pupil Services Consortium sharing multiple positions among four school- s
The District will continue to look for additional reductions while maintaining our educational services, our facilities, and our personnel.
The revenue limit is imposed by Wisconsin State Statutes to control the amount of funding that the community contributes through property taxes. The revenue limit is based on student membership (enrollment), the amount of funding the District receives from the State of Wisconsin in the form of school aid, and several recurring and non-recurring exemptions. The 2017-19 State budget has allotted for no increase to the Revenue Limit calculation for school districts in Wisconsin.
Revenue limits defined by the State of Wisconsin are the driving force behind the district’s need to request additional revenue authority from the voters. A referendum is needed because of the State revenue limits and funding formula. The school district has been under revenue limits since 1993. The decline in school funding over the years has forced our district to make reductions from our expenditures to become more efficient. Although the District has made significant reductions to expenditures over the last ten years, the District is forced to examine a referendum to exceed State of Wisconsin imposed revenue limits.
Randall is not alone in this school funding problem. Since 1993, there have been well over 900 school referendums to exceed revenue caps in the State of Wisconsin. Randall School District has seen a significant drop in school aid since 2008-09. The amount has been reduced by $1,051,823 which totals a near 40% reduction in State aid to the district in the last ten years.
We have made huge gains in attracting students and parents to Randall over the last several years. We continue to be a destination district. Currently, we have a net gain of 121 students through Open Enrollment. The revenue from Open Enrollment is nearly $1,000,000 for the Randall School District.
The district passed a three year operational referendum in October, 2015 with 79% of the voters supporting the referendum. The last facility (Debt) referendum was passed in 1993; this referendum allowed the Jr High expansion.
The most important thing this referendum will do is allow Randall School to maintain and enhance our current educational programs and opportunities for all students at the excellent levels our community expects and deserves. This includes core subjects, music, arts,
athletics, technology, and more.
The District has worked closely with Baird Financial to develop a comprehensive budget forecast model. The model factors in historical data, current budget legislation, and enrollment and budget projections. The amount of the three year referendum was set to accomplish the following goals:
1. Maintain and enhance current education programs and opportunities for Randall students
2. Maintain class size that promotes learning for all students.
3. Allocate referendum dollars for maintenance and replacement of bus fleet
Fund Balance represents the difference between the assets and liabilities of a governmental fund. A common misconception is that Fund Balance is a cash account, and therefore corresponds to the District’s bank balance.
A district with an appropriate Fund Balance can avoid excessive short-term borrowing, accumulate sufficient assets to make designated purchases, cover unforeseen expenditures, and demonstrate financial stability.
The district actively seeks grants to help support our educational programming. We have received several grants over the last few years including a grant for Educator Effectiveness, student leadership, and several smaller grants for specific needs such as Red Ribbon Week. While these add up, most grants cannot be used to replace district money and have specific requirements, targeting specific programs.
Randall currently has its own bus fleet. Historically this has been an opportunity to provide excellent service to our students and parents at a reduced cost as compared to contracting the service. There was a detailed analysis of our transportation costs conducted five years ago. The difference in cost and service to operate our own transportation was significant. We have continued to work extremely hard to keep transportation costs affordable by maintaining our fleet, but we have specific needs to update our bus fleet. Our overall goal is to make sure our students get to school in a safe, efficient manner. We will continue to analyze our needs on an ongoing basis and the board will make decisions with safety, efficiency, and expense as the primary factors.
The District will continue to evaluate and make informed budgetary decisions during the next three years, but the biggest factor will be the 2019-21 State of Wisconsin education budget. If funding is restored to previous levels, another referendum may not be needed. Ultimately, the Board is committed to maintaining and enhancing education opportunities for our students while maintaining tax rates for the residents of the district.
To provide residents with the facts needed to make an informed decision at the polls, the
district offers the following ways to learn more about the proposed plan:
- Visit the district website at www.randall.k12.wi.us
- Email the district with your questions to email@example.com
- Call District Administrator John Gendron directly at 262-537- 2211, ext. 220
- Attend a Referendum Information Night to learn more about the proposed plan.
Each event will run from 6:30 – 7:45 PM and building tours will be provided for interested residents.
o February 12th at 6:00 PM - Randall School (Library)
o March 7th at 6:00 PM - Randall School (Library)
o March 21st at 8:30 AM – Randall School (Cafeteria)
- Visit our school for a first-hand look at our facilities and programs. Building tours by appointment. Please call ahead 262-537- 2211, ext. 220