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Three Lakes School District asks voters to approve new operational referendum as current one to expire

Three Lakes School District

Three Lakes School District is one of more than 60 districts in Wisconsin asking voters to approve a referendum this November.

For Three Lakes and many districts in the Northwoods the state funding formula doesn’t work in their favor.

This year, Three Lakes got about $1,400 less than the year before in general aid from the state, not that it was getting much to begin with.

“With the state funding formula, the district receives about, just over $8,000 in general aid. Which, when you compare that to some of neighboring districts who are receiving over a million dollars sometimes, the burden to fund the school falls on vastly on the taxpayers. We’re receiving majority of our funding from the taxpayers,” said Caleb Kleinhans, the district’s business manager.

Three Lakes is asking voters to approve an operational referendum for 4.25 million dollars per year for the next four years starting with the next school year.

“The operational aspect means that we’re using this to continue what’s going on at Three Lakes. This isn’t to expand any offerings. It’s not to build anything at the district. It’s just to purely continue what we offer as a district. We’re talking salaries, benefits. We’re talking all the co-curriculars that we do. It’s just a continuation of those things.”

Voters have supported similar operational referendums since 2006.

Caleb Kleinhans says approving it won’t raise taxes.

“Over the course of that last referendum, we’ve seen the mill rate decrease and we would expect that to continue over the course of this next referendum,” he said.

The referendum question will appear on the November 8th ballot.

The district is holding three informational meetings to answer any questions people have about the referendum.

Monday, Oct. 17, 6 pm - Three Lakes Auditorium
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6 pm - Sugar Camp IMC
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6 pm - Monico Town Hall

You can learn more about the referendum on the Three Lakes School District website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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