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Hartland-Lakeside to go to referendum again

Only months after a $930,000 referendum failed, the Hartland-Lakeside School District announced another $600,000 operating referendum will go before voters in August.

The referendum question voters will see when they head to the polls on August 14, will ask taxpayers for the authority to exceed the School District's revenue limit by $600,000. If approved, the School District could levy up to that amount beyond its authorized revenue limit for five years.

According to a press release from the School District, "This amount was included in the December 2011 tax bills under the revenue limit law for budget year 2011-12, but now requires voter approval to be included in the 2012-13 budget. Therefore the referendum will not increase taxes."

The School District stated that with the implementation of Act 10 for the 2011-12 school year, that the District was able to trim some $1.2 million out of its budget through restructuring salaries and benefits for employees. But it contends that even with those cuts, it must buoy its revenue limit in order to maintain its current level of programming and services.

"The referendum asks for funding to help maintain small class sizes, meet the State of Wisconsin educational standards, and keep important programs in place for our students," the press release said.

Voters rejected a similar referendum in February that sought $930,000 to maintain the School District's current level of programming and services.

The district has worked in recent years to cut expenses through a variety of cost-saving measures, including the implementation of a pay-for-performance model for teachers, healthcare and benefits changes, and the consolidation of primary grades at Hartland North and elementary grades at Hartland South.

The School District announced it will hold informational meetings on Wednesday, July 11 and Wednesday, August 1 at 6:30 p.m. at North Shore Middle School.

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