Two Sauk County leaders making plans for the betterment of our communities.
River Valley offers more to families and our community than simply a quality education delivered by passionate, dedicated staff. Our children have had the ability to participate in an expansive variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities. They have had access to more AP classes and other opportunities to earn college credit than I did in the slightly larger rural high school I attended. The annual school fair at Homecoming is a highlight for all of us (especially when the alpaca shows up). Our district’s elementary kids run the Blackhawk Bolt each fall, the only fundraiser the elementary school does. It’s an amazing way for the students to be directly involved in their school’s success while encouraging physical activity and camaraderie. Family Fun Night and STEM events foster a love of learning and community engagement. At every turn, our district is going far beyond the call of duty to bring us together and make education fun.
All of this is now in danger. Years of anemic funding from the state, driven by an anti-education administration and an outdated funding formula, have combined with a dwindling population to put our district in a corner. We have cut services as much as we can. We have eliminated staff positions and closed two of the four elementary schools in the district in a fight for our existence. We simply cannot survive any more cuts. Sadly, more cuts are coming.
Without additional funding, we will lose upwards of a dozen more staff positions in September. Co- and extracurricular participation fees will increase by a minimum of 87%. Class sizes would increase significantly. Building maintenance would be deferred. Students would spend longer on the bus, as one full route would be eliminated. These are cuts that have already been approved by the school board. They will go into effect if the referendum for our district fails on April 2. These are also just the cuts for the first year. Over the following two years, cuts would be even more dramatic – if the district still exists. Chances are high that, with just this first set of cuts in place, enough students would open enroll out of the district to force dissolution by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. And really, who could blame them?
Our children deserve the school district I brought my oldest to in 2007. They deserve the education and strong community that River Valley has excelled at promoting. Our children deserve the opportunity to flourish. This is why I fight.
River Valley School District Referendum
Shall the River Valley School District, Sauk, Iowa, Richland and Dane Counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by up to $883,000 for the 2019-2020 school year, up to $2,454,000 for the 2020-2021 school year, up to $3,213,000 for the 2021-2022 school year (for a total of $6,550,000) for nonrecurring purposes consisting of maintaining the educational programs and current level of district operations?
Support the Educational Needs of River Valley Students
April 2, 2019