Loading
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

SHAWANO - Health workers want to stop the spread of an infectious disease in the Shawano area.

The Shawano-Menominee County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of a disease called  shigella.

+ Read More

Play Video

PHILLIPS - Having just finished her sophomore year in high school, Park Falls' Allison Michels can barely drive a car legally. But even at a young age, she, like many high schoolers in Price County, is already taking college-level classes at Northcentral Technical College.

Michels is taking advantage of a summer Certified Nursing Assistant class at NTC's Phillips campus.

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE -
Deputies in Vilas County need help finding a suspect who broke into a local business recently.

The suspect triggered an alarm at the Little Creek Coffee Company in Arbor Vitae on June 22.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - A Lac du Flambeau woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Vilas County contracting company took a plea deal Monday.

Forty-nine-year-old Samantha Chapman pled guilty to felony theft, fraudulent writings, and tax fraud.

In exchange, prosecutors will drop several other charges and won't recommend prison time.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court formally rejected an appeal from Wisconsin that sought to put restrictions on doctors working at abortion clinics.

The justices refused to hear appeals from both Wisconsin and Mississippi.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of signs around downtown Rhinelander this summer. Some say "road closed," others say "detour." But some new, large signs will help you find all the downtown businesses are still open.

Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. printed several laminated signs directing people to those downtown shops and restaurants. The signs will be placed on Lincoln Street as well as various entry points downtown.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's July 4th parade will follow a slightly different route this year, due a major downtown reconstruction project.  But the parade organizer says people are as excited as ever for the celebrations.

Instead of going down Brown Street as in years past, the parade will step off right in front of the Oneida County Courthouse on Oneida and Davenport Streets.  The route will then go down Pelham Street, past City Hall, and north up Courtney ending at Young Street.

"We know there's excitement when they're saying, 'Is there going to be a parade? Is there going to be a parade? How are you going to do it,'" parade director Dale Schlieve said.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here