Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Will It Pass? - Looking at school district referendums: Northland PinesSubmitted: 02/07/2013
Story By Lex Gray & Kira Lynne


EAGLE RIVER - When you step into a Northland Pines school, you'll see laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks.

"I would say within five years, we may not even see a textbook in the the classroom anymore," Superintendent Mike Richie said. "It's going to be chromebooks, it's going to be ipads, and those kinds of things."

Even the schools themselves look shiny and new.

So you might ask yourself: why is this district asking taxpayers for more money?

Superintendent Mike Richie says there are a few answers to that question.

One goes all the way back to the early 90s, when the state funding formula started to change.

"That first base year to figure out what the cap would be for each district, it was actually based off the prior year. So any district in the state that was very frugal or did a great job with their tax levy was actually punished for future years," Richie said.

And Pines is frugal. The district stretched their last three year referendum to four years.

And this time, they're asking for $2.7 million per year instead of $2.9 million.

But there are still budget issues they can't get around.

Transportation costs are a huge issue here. While other districts are more compact, Northland Pines covers a large area, and that's why they spend $1.3 million per year just getting kids to and from school.

Any sympathy from the state? Not here.

"That is the problem I have with the funding formula," Richie said. "They don't take into account the makeup of the district and the difference that one district may have over another district."

And that's why Northland Pines is asking YOU to see the difference…and make sure they can stay ahead of the curve.

Technology director Scott Foster says it's not just about having the latest tech toys. Next year, the district may add Chinese language classes.

"We really emphasize providing a 21st century education for our students and connecting them to the global society. And with technology, we're allowed to do that," Foster said.

But even closer to home, technology matters.

"If a community member reflects on their job now even compared to five years ago... there isn't a job out there that hasn't been impacted by technology in any way," Foster said.

And in the long run, technology should save time. And time saves money.

It always comes across as expensive. But really, if you're enacting technology properly, you should be doing it do gain efficiencies in our instruction or the way we do our jobs here as educators.

Pines hosted informational meetings in January and posted slideshows, videos and flyers online. It's a lot of information. But what Richie really wants you to remember?

"This referendum is about what makes this school district a quality school district," Richie said.

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





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

PHILLIPS - The Phillips School District covers 600 square miles, which means a lot of time on the bus for many students, and high fuel costs for the district. So this year Phillips is trying something new in hopes that investing a little extra money now pays off down the road.

+ Read More

RICE LAKE - Police say a man in a small northwestern Wisconsin community was killed after he followed through on his threat to explode a bomb in his apartment building.

Rice Lake police say 12 to 14 residents were evacuated before the explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed the one-story building Sunday night.

+ Read More

Play Video

MADISON - At last week's State of the State address in Madison, Republicans and Democrats sat together on the floor, but apart on the issues.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) saw a parallel to the changes he helped usher in last year.

"It's better to reflect what the reality of the world is," Vos said.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - It takes a lot of guts to quit your day job and follow your passion. But one Minocqua woman has had success with her painting. And now she's sharing her passion with others.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - It took a couple years to come back, but lots of volunteers made sure Eagle River could get its ice castle back in time for the middle of winter.

The icy tradition took more than 1,000 hours to put together.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAND O' LAKES - Many kids asked for video games, iPads, or other toys for Christmas this year. But for one Land O' Lakes Elementary student, the holiday wasn't about what he could get, but what he could give back to his fellow classmates.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - In a week, the Christmas trees of Antigo will burn in a huge bonfire.

Community volunteers will burn the trees next Monday in the annual city event. This Monday, those trees disappeared from the streets.

City workers rounded up, crushed, and hauled away Christmas trees from curbs all across the city.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here