It is VERY important to know the vast difference between Operating expenses and Capital Improvements. Before making a decision on April 3rd
I would highly encourage each and every voter to get their facts straight. I understand from the countless hours I have spent researching different aspects of this referendum that it is complicated and confusing. I hope this information will help sort the facts from the fiction.
The money which pays for teachers, books, computers and other things that are directly associated with the academic process are part of the Operating budget. Our district receives substantial funding from the state every year (approximately 80%) of the Operational expenses. Out of the $73 million budget last year the state chipped in $58 million.
The upcoming referendum is strictly for Capital Improvements. In order to receive the 64% reimbursement from the state these dollars have to be used for structural changes and improvements. These dollars cannot be used for Operational expenses. Our newest building was built 47 years ago, we have four buildings that were built before 1928. These are old buildings that have become money-pits for our maintenance budget.
Put in perspective
To put it in simplier terms. Each household has a monthly budget, most of what is paid for throughout the month is day-to-day expenses that reoccur each and every month (i.e.-Operational expenses). If within that same household there were to be a major renovation, new roof, siding furnace, let’s say a $20-50,000 expense, this would not be covered, in full, out of our monthly income. We would go to a bank and establish financing over an extended period of time to cover for this major expense. We would then determine how much we could afford for an installment payment within our Operation budget. This would allow us to cover the large need we may have without drastically impacting the monthly day-to-day (Operational expenses).
With that being said would it make a lot of sense to take out a 20 year loan to pay for groceries or a monthly utility bill. As a financial planner of 20 years, I would always advise my clients that this would be poor use of their dollars.
What it’s for… and what it’s not
This referendum is about a long overdue Capital improvement to our school district we cannot continue to be nickeled and dimed on the massive maintenance expenses that have continued to take money away from the Operational expenses which help our students learn.
I hope finds it’s way into one or two homes to help set the record straight. I will refrain from a long discussion about the 4 & 8th graders in the same building, but will say that it doesn’t seem to be a problem for Turner to have middle school students and high school students in the same building. They never encounter one another. How do I know, I have a wife that graduated from Turner and have spoken with staff members from their district.
Get the facts to make an informed decision and don’t be influenced by inaccurate and misleading statements.
Vote “Yes” for our Schools, Vote “Yes” for Beloit.