Referendum Press Conference and Media Coverage

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The Howard-Suamico School District hosted a press conference Tuesday, January 9, 2018 to discuss plans for the upcoming referendum and answer questions. You can follow coverage of the event at the links below:

WBAY Channel 2 Report – Aisha Morales
The Press – Ben Rodgers
Green Bay Press-Gazette – Samantha Hernandez

HSSD Board of Education Approves Referendum Question for April 3, 2018 Ballot

Revenue limit override request is for five years, $5.85 million annually, to support reducing class sizes, employee compensation, and facility maintenance with a neutral property tax impact of $0 per $100,000 of property value.

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At its regular meeting Monday, January 8, 2018, the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education unanimously voted to approve placing an operational referendum question on the April 3, 2018 ballot. Voters will consider a request to allow the Board authority to override the state revenue limit for a period of five years in the amount of $5.85 million annually to support the District’s operations. The proposed question will have a neutral property tax impact of $0 per $100,000 of property value.

If successful, referendum funds would be directed toward three critical operational areas: 1.) Reduce class sizes in grades K-12 by adding 30 classroom teaching positions over a two-year period; 2.) Enhance employee compensation by closing a salary gap between HSSD and its neighboring districts; and 3.) Facility maintenance needs in accordance with the District’s master facilities study, following two consecutive years of deferred facilities funding.

The Board’s decision was guided and supported by the work of a volunteer Community Task Force which studied the District’s funding challenges and presented its recommendations to the Board November 13, 2017. In preparation for its recommendations to the Board, the Task Force met four times in September and October 2017 to study state education funding, HSSD budget and tax levy history, and results from two community-wide surveys following the District’s April 2017 referendum. The primary consideration from both community and Task Force feedback for the Board was placing an end date on the referendum funding request.

The complete ballot language is listed below:

“Shall the Howard-Suamico School District, Brown County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section l2l.9I, Wisconsin Statutes, for a duration of five years beginning with the 2018-2019 school year and ending with the 2022-2023 school year by an amount of $5,850,000 each year for non-recurring purposes consisting of reducing class sizes, employee compensation, and facility maintenance?”

For more information on the HSSD referendum, visit www.hssd.k12.wi.us/referendum.

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HSSD Community Task Force Presents Referendum Planning Report

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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.

Community Task Force Meetings Commence; Board Seeks Input from Howard-Suamico Residents in Referendum Survey

Community Task Force

The Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education meetings of the Community Task Force have commenced. The volunteer group of community leaders and HSSD parents met Wednesday, September 13 to begin a process of study, analysis and recommendation to the Board for future referendum planning. The Task Force will also meet October 4, 11, and 30 before making a formal recommendation to the Board at the regularly-scheduled November 13 Board of Education meeting. A complete list of Task Force members is below along with dates and times of upcoming meetings which are open to the public.

The Board has also requested input from Howard-Suamico residents regarding future referendum planning. Results from the survey will inform Task Force deliberation as well as Board decisions. All adult residents of Howard and Suamico are encouraged to complete the brief survey online at www.hssdsurvey.org. Paper copies and return envelopes are also available at the HSSD Office and all HSSD schools.

Community Task Force Meetings – HSSD Office and Training Center, 6 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, September 13
Wednesday, October 4
Wednesday, October 11
Monday, October 30

Community Task Force Members
Greg Klimek, Co-Chair
Tami Quiram, Co-Chair
Laura Barnard (Board of Education liaison, non-voting Task Force member)
Jennifer Allen
Jon Biskner
Ilya Dayter
Steve DeBauche
Joel Ehrfurth
Mike Frieder
Jeremy Kopke
Steve Kubacki
Maria Lara
Adam Lemorande
Chad McAllister
Ed Nordman
Julie Paavola-Shulstad
Katie Peters
Jason Potts
Kelly Pufall
Dan Roddan
Sue Vanden Elzen