SDMA Election Update

SDMA Election Update
Posted on 04/04/2023

Dear SDMA Families and Staff,

This is just a quick reminder that there is no school scheduled for this Friday, April 7, but there will be school on Monday, April 10.  For your convenience, here is another link to the 2022-2023 district calendar.

Also, to keep district families and staff "in the loop", please consider the following informational items:

   School Board Election- the spring school board election is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4. There are six candidates running for three positions on the Board. Dale Dahlke (i), Amber Kersting, Scott Parker, Amy Riddle-Swanson (i), Charlie Schneider (i), and Brittany Weiker are this year's candidates. Information about the candidates can be found in a recent article from the Leader-Telegram or by watching the candidate forum that was held before the primary election.

   State Budget- lawmakers in Madison are in the process of developing the next biennial budget for the state, and one of the major items being discussed is school funding. As noted in my letter that was shared with families in February, there is a fiscal cliff looming with how the state legislature left it up to schools to use pandemic-related funding to operate over the past two years. This op-ed from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards further explains the fiscal challenges that Wisconsin schools are now facing. 

   Local Budget- the SDMA has a good history of taking a very responsible approach to budgeting. The district has done a good job paying down debt, saving for maintaining facilities and capital equipment, and planning for the future. As noted in slides 9-10 from this year's mid-year budget hearing, the school tax rate in Menomonie has dropped over the past five years and is one of the lowest school tax rates in the region.

   Referendum- there are another 82 school referendums across the state this spring after 81 referendums were on ballots last fall. The SDMA does not have a referendum question on the local ballot for this year's election, but a referendum may be needed in the near future. Unfortunately, state funding for education has not kept up with inflation and many school districts in Wisconsin have been forced to increase revenue by asking voters to pass a referendum. Since 1990, there have been a total of 1,283 referendums in Wisconsin, and 408 of the state's 421 school districts have already gone to referendum. Depending on what happens with the state budget, the SDMA may need to consider a referendum in order to maintain the programming, staffing, and equipment needed in our schools.

School district residents are encouraged to vote tomorrow, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the school district.

Have a good day.

Joe Zydowsky