Loading

43°F

43°F

47°F

44°F

45°F

47°F

47°F

46°F

45°F

47°F

46°F

47°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

Play Video

LANGLADE COUNTY - Some Wisconsin legislators introduced a bill this week that would make it illegal to wear headphones or earbuds while driving in the state.

+ Read More

MADISON - The cost to protect Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch last year was more than three times as much as it took to protect his Democratic predecessor in 2010.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - It may have been a little chilly the past few days, but warm weather is headed our way.

And as the weather warms up, the Wildwood Wildlife Park in Minocqua prepares for the new season by opening up some new exhibits and introducing some new animals.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - Students graduating from high school could be at risk for contracting meningitis. Public health experts say now is a good time to make sure high school students are up to date on their meningitis vaccinations.

+ Read More

Play Video

ASHLAND - An Ashland High School science teacher has returned from a multiple week oceanic research experience to start passing on her new knowledge.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - One of the groups that went to the Business Expo was E3YP.

The group originated from the growing need to get young people to stay in area.

Young people often start working in smaller northcentral Wisconsin communities, but they end up leaving after a few years. It's something that E3YP hopes to change.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - As the temperature increases so does the number of people who want to get outside.

A lot of people in the Northwoods like to get out on their bikes. But if your bike has been sitting in storage all winter, it probably isn't ready to ride.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here