What’s next for district after Bonduel referendum fails again

BONDUEL, Wis. (WBAY) -- One day after the Bonduel School District referendum fails, school officials are working to bounce back from the $2.7 million loss.

“We represented a community, and the community spoke, and we have to move forward with what they want,” says Bonduel School District Superintendent Patrick Rau.

The referendum asked taxpayers for $2.7 million to be used over the next three years, but was voted down 1,004 to 851 on Tuesday.

Administrators hoped to use the extra money for additional staff throughout the district, now making them concerned for the fall semester.

“We’re looking at our second grade, [it] has 49 students. Now we’re going to have two teachers for those 49 students,” Rau says. “[That] makes us a little uncomfortable.”

When an original referendum failed back in April, the district prepared a list of cut backs. Now that a second attempt was also voted down, officials say those changes will be put into place.

Changes include moving from three principals down to two principals, reducing a bus route, and changing how 4K kindergarten is conducted. In addition, the district will not hire extra teachers for heavily-populated grades.

Administrators tell Action 2 News these cuts will likely hurt students’ education in the long run.

“That is the biggest disappointed with it, is we want to continue these programs we have, those college courses and type of things,” says Bonduel School Board President Jay Krull. “We do offer a lot, and that’s how we compete with our neighboring schools. And if we can’t compete, that’s not a good thing.”

For now, administrators are waiting on the state budget to be released over the next few months. After that, the school will likely still have to make cut backs.

“It’ll be detrimental,” Krull says. “We just don’t know what the level is at this time.”

From here, the Bonduel School Board will likely have to dip into their fund balance for extra funding. That balance totals about $1 million dollars, representing about 12 percent of the total annual budget.

After that, cuts in elective courses may have to be made over the coming years.