Referendum


Referendum 2024


APRIL 2024 OPERATIONAL REFERENDUMS
The Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District and the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District take great pride in being an integral part of our community as we fulfill our mission to
engage, educate, and empower the students, staff, and community of Lake Geneva Schools. 


At the same time, our Districts face financial challenges that require the attention of our entire community. On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, residents will vote on an operational referendum question for the Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District and an operational referendum question for the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District. These questions will address both districts’ financial challenges and ensure our educational system is appropriately funded, supporting the opportunities we offer our students and the educators who provide them.

If approved, each question would provide its district with a recurring revenue limit increase of $3,000,000 beginning with the 2024-2025 school year for recurring purposes.


THE BALLOT QUESTIONS

Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District

Shall the Lake Geneva Joint School District No. 1, City of Lake Geneva, Towns of Bloomfield, Geneva, LaFayette, Linn, Lyons and Spring Prairie, Walworth County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $3,000,000 beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of ongoing operational and maintenance expenses, infrastructure, technology and safety upgrades and for educational programming?


Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District

Shall the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union High School District, Walworth County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $3,000,000 beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of ongoing operational and maintenance expenses, infrastructure, technology and safety upgrades and for educational programming?

WHY REFERENDUMS?

The Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District and the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District are not alone in the state of Wisconsin when it comes to facing financial challenges. According to Baird Financial, as of November 2023, over 85% of districts statewide have been forced to seek operational referendum support from their communities. This is due to several factors:


Outdated Funding System: Wisconsin schools operate under a state-imposed revenue limit, restricting the financial support they can receive from state general aid and local property taxes. The funding formula used to calculate the limit was created more than 30 years ago and is outdated. As a result, our districts and many districts statewide do not receive adequate funding for student programs and services. 


Any change in the state funding formula is highly unlikely in the near future, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.


Inadequate State Funding: Our districts face a funding shortfall that significantly hinders our ability to fully support programs and services. The funding approved by the state legislature has not kept pace with increasing costs and inflation over the past few years. In 2022 and 2023, the state's biennium budget resulted in NO increase in per-pupil funding. Additionally, one-time ESSER Grant Funds provided will be exhausted by June of 2024. 


Growing Student Needs: The needs of our students have also increased significantly, particularly in the areas of special education, mental health, economically disadvantaged students, and multi-language learners. These represent essential services mandated by state and federal regulations for which the district receives inadequate funding.


Rising Operational Costs: Expenses related to wages and benefits, transportation, and heating and cooling school facilities are rising, along with various other costs beyond the district's control.


These factors have meant that Wisconsin school districts increasingly must turn to their local communities to fund their schools. This is the case in the Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District and the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District, like many others statewide. 

 

WHAT WILL OPERATIONAL REFERENDUMS ALLOW THE DISTRICTS TO DO?

Approved referendums would enable the district to address the ongoing operational and maintenance expenses, infrastructure, technology and safety upgrades, and educational programming. Our top priorities for these funds would be:

  • Support for teaching and learning to increase student growth and achievement and offer competitive academic courses, programs, and services for all students.
  • Attract and retain the best educators by providing competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Address annual, ongoing maintenance on our aging buildings.
  • Cover rising inflationary costs on goods and services, including transportation, utilities, curriculum, supplies, and equipment.


WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

Both districts have continued their long-standing tradition of excellence while being fiscally responsible.

  • Since 2019, the districts have made enrollment-driven reductions of certified staff through attrition and realignment based on current educational best practices. Over the last five school years, the districts have reduced over 30 certified staff positions.

  • Over the last two school years, both districts used their one-time ESSER Grant Funds to cover ongoing costs, which will be exhausted by June 2024.

  • This year (2023-2024), the districts reduced their overall building budgets by 5% and increased employee contributions to health insurance.

  • The Boards of Education of Badger and Joint #1 have a Shared Service Agreement. The benefits to our school community include more collaborative coordination of the educational and operational programs K-12. This agreement provides a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars by reducing costs for both Districts.

TAX RATE HISTORY Over the last seven years, the tax rate in the Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District has dropped $3.05 per $1,000, and the Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District has dropped $1.57 per $1,000 of property value.
Tax Rate History

WHAT IS THE ESTIMATED TAX IMPACT?

Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District 

An approved Lake Geneva-Genoa City Union (Badger) High School District referendum in April would have an estimated property tax impact of $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value. 

 

Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District

An approved Lake Geneva Joint #1 School District referendum in April would have an estimated property tax impact of $0.56 per $1,000 of assessed property value. 


2024 Operational Referendums Tax Impact

UPCOMING EVENTS

Thursday, February 29, 2024 Coffee with the Superintendent 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Inspired Coffee Shop: 883 W. Main Street, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 The casual setting of coffee with the Superintendent will allow for questions and conversation regarding the upcoming referendums and all things related to Lake Geneva Schools. There will be no formal referendum presentation. It's also a great time to meet other parents and community members.
Tuesday, March 5, 2024 Referendums Presentation at Central-Denison PTO Meeting 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Central-Denison Elementary School: 900 Wisconsin St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 A brief presentation, followed by a question and answer opportunity.
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 Referendums Informational Meeting Presentations Beginning at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Badger High School, Recital Hall: 220 E South St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 Brief presentations, followed by question and answer opportunities.

Thursday, March 7, 2024 Referendums Informational Meeting 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Star Center Elementary School, Library: w1380 Lake Geneva Hwy, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 A brief presentation, followed by a question and answer opportunity.
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 Referendums Presentation at LGMS PTO Meeting 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Lake Geneva Middle School, 600 N Bloomfield Rd, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 A brief presentation, followed by a question and answer opportunity.
Friday, March 15, 2024 Coffee with the Superintendent 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Lake Geneva Public Library: 918 W Main St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 The casual setting of coffee with the Superintendent will allow for questions and conversation regarding the upcoming referendums and all things related to Lake Geneva Schools. There will be no formal referendum presentation. It's also a great time to meet other parents and community members.
Monday, March 18, 2024 Referendums Informational Meeting 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Lake Geneva Schools District Office: 208 E South St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147 A brief presentation, followed by a question and answer opportunity. If you'd like to set up a presentation for your group, contact Tammy at 262-348-1000 or email
[email protected]

QUESTIONS?

Please contact Dr. Peter Wilson, Superintendent of Lake Geneva Schools, at [email protected] or call 262-348-1000.

WHEN TO VOTE

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 Polls open 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

WHERE TO VOTE

Find My Polling Place



VOTING RESOURCES

Wisconsin Elections Commission Website

VOTE ABSENTEE BY MAIL (Absentee Ballot Request) 

VOTACIÓN POR CORREO (Absentee Ballot Request)

REGISTER TO VOTE (Voter Registration Application)

REGISTRARSE PARA VOTAR (Voter Registration Application)

Voting FAQ


VOTING IMPORTANT DATES

For April 2nd Spring Election:

March 12: Absentee ballots sent
March 13: Last day of open voter registration
March 14-March 29: Late voter registration. Voters must register to vote in person.
March 19 to March 29: In-Office Absentee voting. Weekdays only.
March 28: Deadline for voters to request an Absentee Ballot be mailed to them
March 29: Deadline to register to Vote and last day of In-Office Absentee Voting
April 1: NO VOTING OR REGISTERING TO VOTE
April 2: Spring Election. Polls open 7 am - 8 pm. 


ELECTION DAY REMINDERS

Voter Photo ID is required to receive a ballot

If you do not have a photo ID you may obtain a free ID for voting from the Division of Motor Vehicles

Find more information on Photo ID requirements with Bring it to the Ballot Wisconsin


2024 Operational Referendums

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