NEWS STORIES

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


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

TOMAHAWK - If you like to sit in the sauna from time to time, you may want to do it more often.

A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association reports a link between frequent sauna use and lower risk of cardiac-related death.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Some students find themselves sitting in a classroom, wondering how they would use what they're learning in real life. A group of community members in Rhinelander hope to make the connection between what students are learning in the classroom and adult life. On Tuesday, they gave students a crash course in being an adult.

Rhinelander High School seniors traded in their books for a game of life on Tuesday.

"Life can give you a lot of stuff very quickly. I managed to hit both a deer, rear-end a car, and hit snow bank in the same two-week period," said Rhinelander High School senior Dustin Simon, discussing a financial simulation in which he participated.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 33-year-old Tomahawk woman entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to a felony charge for being party to a 2003 alleged murder in Rhinelander.


+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to start debate of the right-to-work bill at 9 a.m. Thursday and end no later than 9 a.m. Friday.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Minocqua Winter Park may see some changes. The town of Minocqua will likely order a study of the park that could lead to upgrades and even expansion.

+ Read More

Play Video

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he will sign into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA CO. - An ambulance took at least one person away after a car rolled over outside of Rhinelander this afternoon.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here