Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wabeno School District Goes to ReferendumSubmitted: 03/26/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Wabeno School District Goes to Referendum
WABENO - In February, taxpayers voted to give three local school districts enough money to keep their programs going.

Next week, for the first time ever, Wabeno will ask their taxpayers to do the same.

The district has asked for more money for building referendums.

But up until this point, they've been able to maintain their programs by making $1 million dollars in cuts over the past 10 years.

Now, superindent Kim Odekirk says any further cuts will jeopardize the quality of education Wabeno can offer.

Mary Propson teaches her first grade class wearing a microphone. That's because she has seven special education students in her class of 17. One is hearing impaired.

Wabeno is asking taxpayers for $3.85 million dollars over the next three years. If the district doesn't get it, chances are even more students will be packed into Propson's class.

"I would lose personal contact with every student. Even 17 is a large amount of students to work with every student sufficiently," Propson said. " If it goes up more, students that are quiet and not as demanding are going to get less of my attention, and they deserve my attention like all of the other students."

You probably remember class sizes much larger than 17 kids. But Odekirk says education has changed.

"The amount of mandates and the kinds of things that we need to accomplish with kids in the classroom now are very different from what they were 25 or even 30 years ago," she said. "In order to meet the needs of all our learners, we cannot have those large class sizes."

"Education is getting harder and harder, there are more demands to meet," Propson said. "If you look back as an older adult, you'd say "I can't believe they're learning that in first grade now." We are learning a lot of things as the students grow at younger ages, and the demands of the world are greater."

Without that $3.85 million, the district faces more than just bigger class sizes. The board would look at cutting electives like music, art, and tech ed. But why should taxpayers have to pay for those extras?

"The extras are their basic education. Life isn't just reading a book," Propson said. "Sports are important, students learn life skills in sports, how to get along, how to work as a team, what to do if you lose. Because those are all learning experiences."


Odekirk says if this referendum fails, the district will hold an election again next year. If it fails again, the district would likely be shut down by the state within a year, and students would go to surrounding districts.

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





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MEDFORD - The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Virginia Tech University, and Sandy Hook School in Connecticut all stir memories of deep fear and sorrow.

Mass shootings can happen anywhere, at any time.

In rural areas like northern Wisconsin, county courthouses could be prime targets. Taylor County trained for that possibility this week with an active-shooter simulation.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - In 2006, more than 40,000 pets died in fires due to smoke inhalation. 

That number has gone down, in large part thanks to oxygen masks designed for animals. 

The Minocqua Fire Department got its own set of pet oxygen masks Tuesday, courtesy of Invisible Fence of Northern Wisconsin.

+ Read More

Play Video

- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.

"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins takes pride in his department's connection to the community. 

And many members of the community clearly feel the same way.

Augie's Collectibles owner Richard "Augie" Augustine donated eight ballistic helmets and a shield to the Tomahawk Police Department.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander woman may see a 10-year-old bucket list wish come true.

On Monday the Rhinelander Parks Committee supported having a dog park at Shepard Park in Rhinelander. 

For 10 years Tina Werres has been advocating to get support for a dog park in Rhinelander.

The decision is now left to the Rhinelander City Council, which is scheduled to vote on June 12.

+ Read More

Play Video

VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods. Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most people stop by Rhinelander's chamber of commerce to get their picture taken with the giant hodag out front. Visitors to the chamber can also stock up on Rhinelander trinkets and gear.

Now, the chamber has decided to downsize its store in order to let someone else set up shop. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here