I was willing to reconsider the referendum request, if the annual increases were not 80 percent over three years. And, I was hoping to see the school board agree to adjust wages based on hard to find teachers and teacher performance, not union demands. None of this has happened and worse, the latest postcard from Osceola Proud (with significant school employee membership) states a blatant piece of mis-information. Here is what I found:
The back of the recent mass-mailed Osceola Proud postcard states the referendum is, “… an investment in the value of your home.” And goes on to state, “The average home value increases 6% after the passage of a district-wide referendum…” The postcard quotes a 2010 Harvard University Study titled “The Value of School Facility Investments.”
(Stay with me, here’s where it gets interesting.) I reviewed the study. The 2010 Harvard Study considered only facility investments — as in buildings. Not one of the Osceola School District’s referendum targets includes facility improvements. And, the Harvard Study focused on California schools, not nationwide and certainly not Wisconsin schools.
The current referendum is little more than an attempt to lull you into more tax money for a school district unwilling to change management style and unwilling to stay within a per student state budget number that 5 of the 10 local schools are willing to do. Unfortunately, I have to say my No vote on the Osceola School District Referendum remains No. The misinformation given about the Harvard Study sealed my skepticism.