A Community Task Force comprised of 20 Howard and Suamico resident volunteers presented its report to the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education at the board’s regular meeting Monday, November 13, 2017. The board convened the Task Force, chaired by Greg Klimek and Tami Quiram, to study the district’s funding challenges and to inform the board’s referendum planning process.
A two-month course of study by the Task Force, which met four times since the start of the school year, culminated in the set of recommendations presented to the Board. A brief summary of Task Force dialogue, themes, and recommendations follows.
- The district should pursue an operational referendum, taking into consideration several important points.
1.) The referendum should not be recurring in nature, but should have a five- to seven-year time horizon;
2.) In keeping with survey responses, the board should determine if a referendum with an impact of no more than $31 per $100,000 of assessed property value would meet the needs of the district, and, if it does, to consider pursuing that option; and
3.) The district should provide a clear, concise, accurate, and easy-to-understand accounting of how referendum funds would be used.
- Ensure that funds are used to promote student education and services and maintenance of district assets.
This includes ensuring class sizes stay within established administrative guidelines, supporting the district’s ability to retain and recruit teachers and staff, and addressing deferred facility maintenance items.
- Transparency and addressing common questions and concerns.
This includes enhancing dialogue about school finance in the community and the impact of open enrollment.
- Foster trust with respect to finance by increasing transparency.
Examples: 1.) Share how the HSSD District Office and Training Center was funded and how it is serving as a community asset. 2.) Continue to make audited district financial statements available online and in paper form; and 3.) Illustrate how HSSD scheduled debt reductions will affect future property tax levies.
Click here for the full report, including a list of Task Force members.