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

WAUSAU - A 43-year-old Marathon County man will go to prison for more than a decade for incest after being convicted in Marathon County court Friday.

Micheal Mayville was originally charged with multiple charges of incest and 2nd degree sexual assault in two separate cases. Those assault charges were ultimately dismissed.

+ Read More

MADISON - A federal judge has refused to stay his order allowing Wisconsin residents to vote without photo identification while state attorneys appeal the decision.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee issued a preliminary injunction this month allowing people who haven't been able to obtain IDs to vote in the Nov. 8 election if they sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn't get the identification.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - North Brown Street is now open and parking is also available. It has parallel parking spots and angled spots. Restaurants have already noticed an increase in business after the street opened late last week.

"We had very good business this weekend. We were very glad that before Friday they were opened. They opened the roads so our Friday Fishfry was back to its normal pace," said Bucketheads server Ashley Hull.

"Last weekend when it opened up, of course it was packed out front. Everyone's using it and I think everyone's getting used to the new parallel and angled parking. I know it was a big shock for everyone that it was going to happen, but everyone's embracing it and getting used to it," said Rhinelander Café & Bar co-owner Brooke Johnson.

The Davenport Street Bridge is still closed, but it's getting closer to opening. Once that happens, downtown will be even easier to access for people coming from the west side of town.

+ Read More

LINCOLN COUNTY - We expect an 85-year-old Antigo woman to be charged next month in the death of a Lincoln County highway worker last summer.

Court records show that Mary Robinson is expected in court to face a charge of Homicide by Negligent use of a Vehicle.

+ Read More

CRANDON - Nearly 200 vendors will make their way to Crandon this weekend for the annual Kentuck Day Festival.

Among them is a former nationally ranked snow-cross racer turned peanut brittle chef.

22-year-old Stephanie Schmidt used to race snowmobiles competitively.

Now, she uses ingredients like sugar and peanuts to land her in the winner's circle.

"The younger generation doesn't know what it is and it's really good," said Schmidt. "It's a shame that people don't know what it is and it's really fun to make."

She has spent the last couple of days preparing her famous peanut brittle to sell at the festival.
 
At last year's festival, she nearly ran out within the first few hours and had to make about 90lbs total in just one day.

"We're preparing way more than we did last year and I hope to have like 150 to 200 bags ready to go," said Schmidt.

All the money Stephanie makes from the peanut brittle goes towards her history graduate degree at UW-Milwaukee.

Stephanie is hoping to make nearly $700 from sales Saturday.

The Kentuck Day Festival will take place Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

+ Read More

WHITE LAKE - There's a lot of pride in the Village of White Lake.

The people there are proud of their school, proud of their health center, and proud of their history.

"There's just so much history here. It's just a good little place," said White Lake Area Historical Society Secretary Judy Popelka. 

+ Read More

LINCOLN COUNTY - We expect an 85-year-old Antigo woman to be charged next month for the death of a Lincoln County highway worker last summer.

According to online court records, Mary Robinson is expected in court to face a charge of Homicide by Negligent use of a Vehicle.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here