Appleton Area Referendum (2009)
The referendum asked the voters to approve $10,900,000 in excess over the state-set revenue limits. The money would have been spread out as follows:
and the expected average tax impact would be $67 more on a house assessed at $100,000, or $0.67 per thousand dollars of assessed value.
The additional money was slated to be used to lower class sizes, increase course offerings, and add instructional materials.
Wording of referendum
improving class size ratios and purchasing curriculum materials including instructional technology.
On March 9, 2009 the Appleton Board of Education approved the lay-offs of 43 teachers in the School District as the Board voted unanimously 7-0 to approve the lay-offs. The layoffs come as both ballot measures were defeated by the voters of the City of Appleton.
The layoffs, which take effect June 9, 2009, come less than a month after voters on February 17th rejected a pair of referendum questions totaling $15.9 million and aimed at lowering class sizes, updating instructional methods and technology and improving security in AASD buildings
"I am very disheartened, but we had to do it," said Sharon Fenlon, the President of the Appleton Board of Education. "We knew we would be laying off teachers because the referendum failed."
Don Hietpas the Chief Financial Officer of the Appleton Area School District said in a Appleton Post-Crescent interview: "18 of the position cuts are tied directly to the failed referendum. Five of the cuts are necessary to create positions for teachers on leave and eligible to return to their jobs. The remaining eight positions reflect dropping high school enrollments (at Appleton West and Appleton North)."
When asked about the possibility of a re-issuing of the failed referendum, Appleton Education Association President Mark Leschke said: "It's not a good idea to repeat the failed referendum, which he said was not a vote against education...The community has spoken. It's an understanding of the economic times." stated Leschke
Leschke said union and school officials are keeping a close eye on the state budget and federal stimulus dollars heading to Wisconsin to possibly re-hire some teachers.
The staff cuts make up $1.8 million of the projected shortfall, but increase the average class size from 26.5 to 27 students in grades four through six and from 27.5 to 28.5 for grades seven through 12.
- Appleton school referendum tops Tuesday's primary election ballot, Post Crescent, February 15, 2009
- Larry Musich column: Referendum is plan that's worth support, Post Crescent, February 15, 2009
- Letters: Teachers' union has to give to save jobs, Post Crescent, February 13, 2009
- Supporting tax hike during a recession a dilemma for Appleton voters weighing school referendum decision, Post Crescent, February 10, 2009
- Referendum seeks remedy for Appleton school class sizes, Post Crescent, February 8, 2009
- Appleton Area School District:Referendum Basics (dead link)
- Give us your questions about Appleton Area School District referendum, Post Crescent, January 11, 2009
- Few attend first Appleton school district referendum forum (dead link), Post Crescent, January 15, 2009
- Appleton board to decide on school referendum proposal Monday, Post Crescent, December 6, 2008