School board candidates talk referendum and achievement gaps – Austin Daily Herald

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a Q&A featuring Austin School Board candidates on issues facing the school district.

This week are Al Eckmann, Carolyn Dube and Cece Kroc.

1. The school board has given the green light for putting an operating levy referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot. How do you sell the need for the referendum to the public?

Al Eckmann: For the past few years Austin Public Schools has been living on a budget that had a small growth in revenue because of an increasing student enrollment. Currently we have a decreasing number of total students served by approximately 220. The same forecast is predicted for future years.

We are currently last in the Big Nine Conference of operating referendum per student with $800 to a high at Winona of $3,594. And our Unassigned Fund Balance has also been dropping because of declining enrollment. Our

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Tax referendum for Meridian School District to appear on November ballot

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Come November, Stillman Valley voters won’t just be seeing the presidential vote on the ballot. Voters will also have to make a decision on permanently increasing taxes paid to the Meridian School District, as well.

District officials explained the bill actually won’t translate to more money paid, but that he tax increase has been in effect for the last six years. Essentially, a vote yes would continue the status quo, according to district officials. They said the tax is based on property value and as long as a home’s value doesn’t change, neither will taxes. Officials also pointed to the data showing a need for increased funding during a time of social distancing.

“So at the time the referendum was passed we had over an a million dollar deficit so the influx of money first allowed us to stabilize,” said Meridian School District Superintendent PJ Caposey.

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