Voters approve Albany School District referendum
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Albany School District referendum
ALBANY Albany School District Superintendent Steve Guenther is happy he won't be trying to draft another referendum or starting to plan for massive cuts next year.
District voters approved a referendum Tuesday by a vote of 796-692 to exceed the revenue cap by $1.64 million over three years.
"I think the community is very supportive of the school, but I think it comes down to whether or not people can afford it," Guenther said.
The referendum asked for $520,000 in each of the next two school years, then $600,000 in the 2015-16 school year to pay for operating expenses because of decreasing state revenues.
"This was not an increase in taxes. This was a wash," he said. "The referendum is ending what we had in place, and we need a new referendum to fill in that hole or gap."
The referendum essentially continues permission to exceed the revenue cap approved by voters in an April 2009 referendum. Back then, residents voted 472-334 to exceed the state revenue cap for a total of $1.75 million over four years, ending at the end of this school year.
Guenther said residents asked a lot of good questions at referendum information meetings, though not everyone left totally in support, but they left "with the understanding we weren't asking for a new, additional tax," he said. "It came down to what they could afford."
The money approved by the referendum will maintain programs and staff. The district is using grants to upgrade technology and planning to convert the middle school into a project-based, place-based charter school for next year.
"Now it's time to move, to make the improvements, changes we need to make to make Albany a leader in education in Wisconsin," he said.