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    Almond-Bancroft Operational Referendum
     
    It’s all about quality education at A-B Schools
    By Superintendent Rich Hanson

    The $525,000 annual recurring operational funds sought in the April 3 referendum addresses four major needs in the Almond-Bancroft School District.

    Those areas and the estimated funds to be put toward each are:

    • Curriculum and Instruction ($100,000 per year)
    • Technology ($75,000 per year)
    • Teacher Retainment  and Recruitment ($200,000 - $300,000 per year)
    • Facility and Equipment Maintenance. ($100,000 per year)

    Additionally, we need to address rebuilding our Fund Balance that has gotten dangerously low. The Fund Balance is reserve money used to pay expenses so we don’t have to borrow funds while waiting for tax revenue and state and federal aid. The Fund Balance is currently at only about $673,000.  For a school district our size, it should be closer to $1,500,000.

    The funds for curriculum and instruction will allow us to revise and develop courses our students want and need as we prepare them for post-graduation, and will provide professional development for our teachers. 

    We are reaching the end of our five-year technology referendum.  The 2013 referendum provided us with a good start to begin updating our computers and hardware, but equipment we bought five years ago is wearing out and becoming obsolete. We must stay current.

    Teacher retainment and recruitment is a major issue facing our district.  A beginning teacher in our district starts at a salary approximately $5,000 - $6,000 a year behind school districts such as Stevens Point, Pittsville, and Tomorrow River.  Our compensation continues to fall behind as we add years of experience and lands us 11th out of 12 area districts.

    We have a number of maintenance and equipment needs that we have been postponing and we need to address.  Those items include updating our outdoor security lighting, replacing our outdated security camera system, replacing bathroom fixtures, and replacing the school van, maintenance truck, riding lawnmower, and floor cleaning machine. We also need to begin to prepare to repave our parking lots and about 25% of our roof in the next 5-7 years.

    We are retiring our 1998 building addition and the 2013 technology referendum at the end of the school year. That means we can provide the needed funds with no school tax rate increase.

    If you would like more information about the upcoming vote on Tuesday, April 3, go to our website or Facebook page.

    You may also contact Rich Hanson, District Administrator at 715-366-2941 ex. 418 or at [email protected], or one of our School Board Referendum Information Committee members, Bonnie Warzynski, ([email protected]), Debbie Bradley ([email protected]), or Kim Weiss ([email protected]).