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NEWS STORIES

Antigo Rejects School Referendum for Second YearSubmitted: 11/07/2012
Story By Lex Gray

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ANTIGO - Yesterday, Antigo schools asked its taxpayers for more money.

The taxpayers' answer? A resounding no.

Only about one-quarter of those voting in Antigo wanted to support this year's referendum.

The district wanted more money for two things.

The first was a new elementary school to consolidate the seven they have now.

That would've cost $24.5 million.

They also asked taxpayers to let them exceed the revenue limit by $1.5 million per year for operating and maintenance.

Superintendent Steve Smolek said this almost certainly means four rural elementary schools will close.

"Looking at the financial picture of this district, that is inevitable. How you get there and when you get there is up for debate, I suppose, but the reality is that there's a tremendous amount of cuts that are going to continue to be made in this district," he said.

That's disappointing for parent Heather Liedtke, who has a first-grader at West Elementary.

By fourth grade, he could be in the middle school.

"I don't like the setting that it's going to be for him," Liedtke said. "I think all the children should have a wonderful place to go and be happy, and have room for the teachers to do what they need to do in the classrooms. And at this point, I don't see that that's going to happen."

The board will meet Tuesday night to start talking about plans for next year.

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