Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes for Sturgeon Bay School District Referendum

In 1993, the State of Wisconsin implemented revenue caps on public school districts. As a result, for the past 23 years school districts in this state have needed voter approval to exceed the state mandated limits on funding. During this time, over 300 school districts (about 75 percent of all districts in Wisconsin) have run just under 1,000 referendums to exceed their state-imposed revenue limits. Every school district in Door County has requested, and received, revenue limit override approval from their voters. The Sturgeon Bay Board of Education is requesting your approval of the Sturgeon Bay School District referendum on April 5th.

The Sturgeon Bay School District is committed to providing the first-rate education to our children that our community has come to expect. We are also committed to being good stewards of our community’s tax dollars. We have been successful on both fronts.

Based on the most recent information available from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, our district is spending less per student than the average of all districts in Door and Kewaunee Counties and just slightly more than the state average for school districts our size. One explanation for this is that we are efficiently using our administrators; based on the number of students in our district, we have fewer administrators than both the state average and the two-county comparison area. We continue to make adjustments to staff size as enrollment warrants and have implemented a new compensation structure to attract and retain the best teachers we can afford.

We have maintained fiscal responsibility while at the same time showing exceptional results in many areas. For example, our composite ACT scores for the class of 2015 were the highest in the two-county comparison area and well above the state average. Each of our schools has been rated as “Exceeding Expectations” or “Meeting Expectations” based on the most recently available Department of Public Instruction Report Cards. Our math team has been the state champion in six of the last nine years and in 2016 they won their 15th consecutive conference championship. Our soccer team is the reigning Division 4 State Champion. There are a lot of reasons to be proud of what is happening in the Sturgeon Bay School District.

Revenue caps are an imperfect way to calculate funding for public schools. Some even believe that they are in some way meant to establish a budget for Wisconsin school districts. They are not. They do, however, provide an opportunity to inform and engage our district residents on the achievements and activities within our district. The Sturgeon Bay Board of Education is grateful to the people of Sturgeon Bay for the support that you have shown our district since our first referendum request in 2007. We appreciate the trust you have placed in our school board. We thank you for continuing your support by voting yes on the Sturgeon Bay School District referendum on April 5th.


John Hauser, President, Board of Education

Sturgeon Bay School District

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