Funny how some folks switch concepts based on subjects. Ten years ago Mr. Wright felt that a decision made by vote was cast in stone, never to be revisited. Yet last week, he suggests a decision made by a vote only two years ago on the school referendum should be revisited. 

The other thing you’ll notice is that rebuttals often only address certain aspects of the subject and ignore the rest including detailed numerical facts. For example, the writer states that the government has cut state funding for the last eight years. According to the WI Dept of Instruction, Osceola School District per student aid rose from $75 in 2013/2014 to $654 for 2018/2019. 

It is true the total state aid for the Osceola school has remained relatively flat (+/- 2-3% swings) for the past several years. Using the Consumer Price Index (inflation) the state aid to Osceola should be about $1mm more today than it was 5 years ago. Of course, this does not factor in property tax revenue increases based on new homes and businesses or the fact that property taxes increased 10 percent over this same period. Currently, the referendum vote for this April is asking for an initial starter number of $1.5mm then going up another 16 percent and then another 27 percent and then a final increase of an additional 22 percent. That’s an 80 percent increase over 3 years. All these increases - while projected inflation would stay less than 3 percent per year. 

This is not a reflection of how well the school board operates or the quality of students being graduated. It is however, criticism for the vintage school board mentality in the past of asking for substantial more money every year and then automatically getting it via increased property taxes.  

I can support a referendum of $1mm the first year and incremental adjustments based on a reasonable annual increase of say, 5 percent. If the existing referendum remains at $1.5mm, with 16 percent - 27 percent increases each year, my vote remains No.    

Glyn Thorman


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