Parkview voters reject two referendums
Parkview School District
Referendum No. 1 (exceeding revenue cap)
Referendum No. 2 (facility upgrades)
ORFORDVILLE Two more teachers will be cut next year and facility improvements will wait after Parkview School District voters turned down two referendums Tuesday.
“It’s disappointing,” Superintendent Steve Lutzke said. “It puts us in a difficult position.”
The first referendum asked voters to exceed the state revenue cap by $2.4 million over four years for its operating budget and technology upgrades.
The school board will implement its plan for a failed referendum, which includes cutting one elementary teacher and one secondary teacher and reducing the textbook budget by 75 percent and teacher classroom budgets by 10 percent, he said. The board already planned to cut three teachers—two at Orfordville Elementary and one at the high school—regardless of the referendum results.
The second referendum asked to borrow $2.8 million over 20 years to rebuild roofs on the junior/senior high and Footville elementary schools, upgrade buildings to be more energy efficient and renovate bathrooms to meet handicapped accessibility standards.
“The facility needs we presented aren’t going to go away,” Lutzke said.
District officials will patch holes temporarily, he said, but when you don’t fix a problem, it magnifies, as does the cost.
“We’re going to regroup and reassess,” Lutzke said. “We’ll have time next year to see how the scaled-back budget is working. My guess is we’re going to have to come back to the voters a year from now and ask again because the facility issues are going to be worse, and I don’t see the state solving our budget problem anytime soon.”
The economy likely was the top reason the referendums failed, Lutzke guessed. Some people also feel the district isn’t being financially efficient with three elementary schools, he said.
Discussions about closing Newark Elementary, which has about 94 students, will continue, Luztke said. The district estimates it could save $250,000 in the first year if it closes Newark, but closing it likely wouldn’t happen for next year, he said.
The board next meets at 6 p.m. Monday, April 19, at the high school, 106 W. Church St.