Stoughton School District hooked on referendums, will the Evansville School District follow?

With certain items more than likely going to referendum in the next year for the Evansville school district,  it was interesting to hear that the Stoughton school district already has a referendum on the ballot for April 1st.   Stoughton just had a referendum in 2010.   WHY is Stoughton  having another referendum?   Because they seem to think they can not run , with out more money.  In the 4 years since the last Stoughton school district referendum they have:

  • Eliminated another 11 positions
  • Refinanced debt
  • Held down health insurance premiums
  • Continued energy efficiency improvements

Before they held the referendum in 2010 they :  *** from their web page...

Prior to 2010 referendum, we reduced expenses by $3.5 million through steps such as:

  • Eliminated 68 positions
  • Closed Yahara Elementary School
  • Instituted energy efficiency improvements



What has the district done with the money from the 2010 referenda?


The community in 2010 supported both an operational and a maintenance referendum. The maintenance referendum enabled us to address critical repair needs, and we were able to stretch those dollars even further by acting as our own project manager instead of hiring a firm to do that work for us.


The operational referendum allowed us to withstand historic cuts in state funding and yet improve the quality of education we provide. Some of the highlights include:

  • Built 97% graduation rate — one of the best in the county
  • Boosted ACT to their highest in almost two decades
  • Expanded college credit options
  • Strengthened workforce development programs
  • Partnered with MIT and local foundations and businesses to build state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory
  • Gained national recognition for our innovative inclusive teaching approach


SAD THAT EVANSVILLE IS UNLIKELY TO DO ANY OF THESE THINGS WITH THE REFERENDUM MONEY.   I will also add that Stoughton has a excellent Science program at their high school.


They ~ Stoughton ~ are ‘ threatening to cut 33 staff positions and programs such as reading intervention/early reading programs if this referendum does not pass.

The question many are asking is , are they going to be back in another 4 years asking for more money?   Maybe they should be making these staff cuts.  Clearly if they are threatening to make staff cuts they have thought about what they would do with out these staff members.

OR is it like in Evansville when Evansville started laying off teachers in the last few years they found as they looked at class numbers ,  they were a tad over staffed.

That the number of students in some classes did not support having that class anymore.   That some teachers were being paid FULL TIME  wages when really they only ” Worked”   part-time,  it terms of how many classes they actually had.

Some of this ‘ over staffing’ was because of declining enrollment , some was because no one had really paid attention to the class numbers in a long time.

SO is Evansville going to have to go to referendum in another few years because they have not learned how to budget or make cuts on the money they have.  WITH declining enrollment there is no good excuse for this.

I WAS glad to see the numbers on the survey for the question would you support “

–Additional funding to retain and attract employees: 49 percent said “yes,” 27 percent said “no,” and 24 percent were undecided/needed more information. – See more at: ..
THAT leaves 51% of people who would not commit to paying more to retain and attract employees..  NOR should they, that money should come from the budget because after the referendum money runs out HOW are you going to keep paying them?
AS I was told people who vote undecided/ need more information tend to vote NO on referendums.    This” additional funding” like the ” police liaison should be dead.
The person who told me that people who vote undecided/need more information usually vote no, is some one who does this for a living,  I believe that this information was relayed to Jerry Roth and the school board as well.
Schools have to learn to budget and live on what they have, especially with declining enrollment.    I will say some of these maintenance issues, and need for updated curriculum are things that should have been done years ago.  WHY have they board/administration  been putting so much money in the fund balance instead of fixing and purchasing the things they need.
Once again congrats to those who took the time to fill out the survey.   It’s the same as voting , you do not get to complain if you do not participate.

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