Thursday - September 14, 2017 8:58 am

State should not limit school referendums

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As work continues to wrap up a new budget for the state of Wisconsin, much of the focus has been on how to fund transportation needs, and how much of the store to give away to Foxconn. But also buried in the budget is a provision that prevents local school districts from raising the money they need to educate their students. If approved, the law would restrict how often, and for what reasons, schools could appeal to voters in referendums asking if they will pay more in property tax to fund schools. This is a policy issue that doesn't belong in a state budget. It should be be debated and voted on on its own merits. But what business is it of Madison if the La Crosse school district or any other wants to hold a referendum to build new schools, or improve technology or safety in existing ones? Isn't this the same political party which rails against big government? It has become increasingly common for Wisconsin schools to hold referendums. In just the last six years, 40% of Wisconsin school districts have turned to voters in a referendum. Little surprise, given that state aid to schools has dwindled in Wisconsin, as money is funneled from public education toward private voucher schools. Also not surprising is that 70% of those referendums have been approved by Wisconsin voters. Clearly, voters continue to value a public education, even if our elected officials do not.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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