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School Board Votes to Ask for Referendum Submitted: 11/13/2012
RHINELANDER - Parents, students, teachers and community members packed into the Rhinelander High School auditorium tonight.

They pleaded with the school board to save their charter schools, electives, and teaching jobs.

The board is considering massive cuts to make up for a $3 million budget gap.

Tonight, they voted unanimously in favor of asking voters to support a referendum, instead of making those cuts.



If the referendum fails, the board would likely shut down two charter schools, cut some extracurricular activities and all elective courses, and lay off eight full-time teachers.

Chad Rich has four kids in the district. They're at the high school, middle school, AND both charter schools.

He left the meeting tonight in support of a referendum.

"I'm one that wants to make sure we're spending wisely. I thought there was a lot of waste in the district, and looking at our school district versus other school districts and how much they are spending -- we do things for less," he said. "So it's not a matter of wasting money, it's a matter of us needing more revenue."

Andrea Walker has been at the charter schools since fourth grade.

She's now a senior, and said her experience wouldn't have been the same without project-based learning and a close-knit learning environment.

"They are the best teachers," she said. "They care about us succeeding and excelling in life."

Superintendent Dr. Roger Erdahl said he believes the referendum has a good chance of passing.


Story By: Lex Gray

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