Your views: BTC has been good steward, deserves referendum support

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Friday, August 1, 2014

As a taxpayer, homeowner, and resident of Rock County, I want to voice my support for the Blackhawk Technical College referendum on Aug. 12.

Earlier this year, I supported two referendums for my local school, Parkview, because our students are our future. The dollars we spend on education are an investment in the lives of local students and the future of our community.

Students can choose from 48 associate degree and technical diplomas and 24 certificate programs at Blackhawk. Most BTC graduates (92 percent) stay in Wisconsin, and 94 percent find jobs within six months of graduation.

In August, BTC will be asking for an increase of $4 million for its operational budget. BTC has been a good steward of its resources, spending the least amount per student compared to other small Wisconsin technical colleges. However, in 2011, the state reduced direct aid to BTC by 30 percent—this was a loss of $1.5 million. In addition, the operational budget was frozen at the 2010 level. This means BTC, already with a no frills budget, has to do more with less.

The increase BTC is asking for is reasonable. The good news is that I can support BTC without feeling the pain of increased taxes. Due to a new state funding formula, the average portion of the BTC tax bill will go down by 26.7 percent, even with the referendum. This is a win-win situation for us all. Please vote YES on Aug. 12.


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