Loading

81°F

82°F

80°F

79°F

82°F

80°F

83°F

80°F

81°F

83°F

80°F

83°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Will It Pass? Submitted: 02/05/2013
Story By Lex Gray & Kira Lynne


THREE LAKES - Educating our children costs money.

But like many of us in this economy, school districts are struggling financially.

Add to that an aging population, declining enrollment, and less money from the state.

It's a tough equation - that's why Rhinelander, Three Lakes and Northland Pines school districts are asking taxpayers for more money.

All three districts go to a referendum vote on February 19.

Newswatch 12's Lex Gray and Kira Lynne went to each district to find out why they need the money and why you need to vote.

Since 1978, Steve Schacht has been teaching and counseling Three Lakes students.

He's seen a lot of changes. Expectations have changed.

"When I was a youngster, high school diploma was everything you needed," Schacht said. "That's not the case anymore."

Politics have changed.

"The change in Madison, the change with Act 10, has not exactly helped people's perception on teachers and education," he said.

The funding formula has changed, too.

At this point, we're penalized because we have a lot of expensive homes on the lake," Schacht said. "Yet our taxpayers are not the highest paid in the area."

But the one constant? Three Lakes pride.

"I think the message that we like to tell our students is, when you leave Three Lakes, you have the ability to do anything you want."

But it seems that's part of the problem people leave Three Lakes and they don't come back. Enrollment in the district has been sliding since 1998.

Declining enrollment doesn't mean a declining education. ACT scores have gone up here.

In fact, Three Lakes has the highest ACT scores in our area.

But those ACT scores don't get the district any more money.

Three Lakes is headed to its fourth referendum in ten years.

"Our community has given our kids the best gift they can, which is a good, solid education," Schacht said. "I trust that they'll do the right thing this year and also pass the referendum."

The odds are in the district's favor. The last vote passed by 74 percent.

The district is telling homeowners a "Yes" vote will cost $58 per year for a $100,000 home.

But a "no" vote could cost even more.

"If we can't fund education, the Three Lakes School District might cease to exist," Schacht said.

Three Lakes could be absorbed by either Rhinelander or Northland Pines both at a higher cost than staying independent.

No matter what, taxes will go up.

"It's a tough sell. No one would like to see their taxes go up, no one wants to pay any taxes," Schacht said. "But if you have to pay taxes, the most important one in my mind is education."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2015

- After years of rumbling over potholes, drivers in Rhinelander will soon be able to travel smoothly over Lincoln Street. The city will completely resurface the busiest part of the road starting Monday. We'll have what drivers need to know.

- Veterinarians in the Northwoods have been treating more cases of heartworm in dogs lately. The illness can leave a foot-long parasite in your dog's body. We take a look at treatment and prevention.

- The Northwoods attracts campers from all across the state every summer. But tonight at 5, we'll introduce you to some Boy Scouts who ventured more than 3,000 miles to visit Langlade County.

- Learn more about spiny water flea, one of the newer invasive species in Northwoods lakes.

- And we'll look at the Wabeno Art and Music Fest, a first-year event coming up this weekend.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," says DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A crash sent a driver to the hospital in Rhinelander Tuesday morning.

Police say a man driving a pickup truck ran into a parked car on Evergreen Court around 9 a.m.

The crash threw the parked car into the front yard of a nearby home.  No one else was hurt.

+ Read More

WABENO - Wabeno wants to draw more and more people to its small community by making improvements such as building new trails and hosting new cultural events.

This weekend, the town will host the first ever Wabeno Art and Music Fest. People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - As temperatures rise in the dog days of summer, knowing how to prevent and react to heat exhaustion can save a life.

+ Read More

CHICAGO - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to see changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He thinks the EPA should become an "umbrella organization," with most of its powers shifted to state regulators.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - We may soon need more substance abuse counselors in the Northwoods. The demand for trained counselors is expected to increase in the next ten years.

That's why Nicolet College will offer a new technical diploma this fall for substance abuse counseling. The diploma is set up to benefit both students and professionals wanting to learn more.

"It will augment really, well people who are already in the helping and counseling professions like nurses, social workers and therapists," said Lenore Blemke, Dean of Health Occupations for Nicolet College. "This will give them an additional credential."

Counselors can be found at places like Koinonia treatment center in Rhinelander.

Koinonia has several substance abuse counselors who help people recognize their addictions and how they may affect their lives.

"It's really neat to see individually what they start to recognize about their addiction and how that has impacted them personally and for them to start to get to know themselves, aside from who they are with their substance use," said Jessica Krueger, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Therapist at Koinonia Treatment Center.

The training involves 28 credits in related subjects. Nicolet will offer the program both in the classroom and online.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here