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Fox Lake District Referendum, 2009

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A Fox Lake District Referendum was on the November 3 ballot in Dodge County for voters in the City of Fox Lake. The measure calls for voters in both districts to decide if the city and township of Fox Lake will be allowed to detach from the Waupun School District and attach itself to the Randolph School District. Voters in these two school districts also have a say in the vote.

In August 2009 a second petition was filed by members of Concerned Area Residents for Education after the first petition was denied. The campaign for detachment from the Waupun School District was developed shortly after the school board announced that three elementary schools would close, including Fox Lake Elementary. The school board opted to close the schools in light of a $1 million budget deficit.[1]

The two school districts shared the costs of a financial impact study that was done in order to determine if this rearranging of a city was plausible. It determined the financial impact of this move included a loss of 28% of Waupun's school tax base and loss of state aid for 230 students. Randolf would have gained 28% of Waupun Area School District's assets, raising property values, while taking on $6 million of their debt.[2]

Due to only one school district approving the referendum, the detachment and joining of the school districts will not occur. Randolf school district was ready to take on the burden of Waupun, but those in Waupun saw losing the school as bringing more difficulty to the city. Waupun school district sees this as a positive thing, they will proceed with long term plans they had made before the referendum vote. The vote was for the best, Waupun voters seemed to show that.[3]

Election result

The measure was defeated in the Waupun School District, and approved in the Randolf School District on November 3, 2009. In order for the measure to pass, both districts would have to pass the measure. Therefore, the measure is defeated.[4]

Waupun vote: Defeatedd

  • no 1,736
  • yes 1,176

Randolf vote: Approveda

  • no 240
  • yes 393

Wording of the Referendum

“Shall the territory located within the City of Fox Lake and the Township of Fox Lake which is presently a part of the Waupun Area School District be detached from the Waupun Area School District and attached to the Randolph School District effective July 1, 2010?”


CARE, the main organization behind the referendum, while disappointed in the election results, are still going to try in two years to take another approach to the issue. They will try to disconnect the areas so that the fox lake school can be used and re-open again.[5]