Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oshkosh School Board Approves Proposed Cuts if Referendum Not Approved

The Oshkosh School Board approved a list of $3.4 million in cuts for the 2016-17 school year and an additional $4 million in cuts for the 2017-18 school year that would be instituted if the April 5 Referendum for Learning is not approved by district voters.

The Referendum for Learning is a request for increased funding that will go before school district voters on April 5. The referendum is in response to continued pressure on the school district’s budget due to inadequate state funding that does not keep up with inflation or increasing educational costs.
The state allows school districts to ask local voters to approve increases beyond the state-imposed revenue limits for their community.

If voters approve the referendum on April 5, it will provide $4 million per year for seven years that would be used to protect academic programs for Oshkosh students and make security improvements to district schools. If voters do not approve the referendum, the board-approved cuts will go into effect beginning in the 2016-17 school year. The cuts were developed by a 33-member staff/community budget reconciliation committee over the course of several meetings.

Examples of what will be cut over the next two years if the referendum fails include:
• Mandatory study hall for all middle school students in place of elective classes like Family-Consumer Science, Career/Technology Education and STEM
• Eliminate or restrict lower enrollment classes and electives in middle and high school (ex: CAPP,
Business, Technology and Engineering, Agriculture, French, German, Art and Music/Orchestra)
• Reduce art, music and gym opportunities in elementary school
• Increase athletic fees and combine several North and West high school teams into one
• Close and/or combine schools

“Voters need complete information about what will occur if the referendum passes and what if it fails,” said Superintendent Stan Mack. “We have been very clear that if it passes, we will be able to protect academic programs and enhance school security. We need to be equally clear what will be cut if it fails so residents know the impact that would have on our school programs.”

More information about the Referendum for Learning can be found at


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