Loading

70°F

73°F

67°F

67°F

74°F

67°F

79°F

67°F

70°F

79°F

67°F

78°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

RHINELANDER - Resort owners in the Northwoods often collect stories from their guests, but rarely do guests teach owners about the history of their own resort.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Many kids like to take art classes over the summer. The Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua has one project for kids that is made out of all-natural materials.

The project is called Uprooted. It started in July and was supposed to end in August, but the kids had so much fun working on the art project that it was extended until the fall.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - September might not seem like the best time to plan your garden, but taking steps now can mean better results later.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The Horant family lost their home and business when it burned down two weeks ago. It was a tragedy that shook the Eagle River community.

The Horant's have always been around to help the community. Now, that community is giving back to the family that has been so good to it.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - Drivers in Woodruff and Minocqua might want to avoid a popular shortcut soon. A several month long road project will start next week on County Highway J between Highways 51 and 47.

Last year, the intersection of County Highway J and Highway 51 was completely redone.

+ Read More

HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.

+ Read More

MERRILL - It can be a frustrating sight when your gas light comes on in the car.

But one north central Wisconsin fuel company may make it a little more pleasant going to the pump.

Riiser Engery and R-Stores will donate two cents for every gallon pumped on "Pride Pumps" to area schools districts.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here