Results of survey gauging referendum support to be released Wednesday


An Oshkosh school district referendum sign from 2009. Oshkosh Northwestern file photo.

The results of a survey gauging Oshkosh’s support for going to referendum in April┬áto raise school taxes will be presented to the school board Wednesday.

The $21,000 comprehensive survey also asked the community to weigh in on the district’s performance and their opinions on creating magnet schools.

Superintendent Stan Mack II first recommended a referendum to pay for general operational costs in early spring, when the board began deliberating millions of dollars in budget cuts. Annual deficits are projected for the next several years as rising expenses continue to outpace growth in tax revenues.

In March, Mack presented the school board with a plan to use $1 million in reserve funds to hep fill a budget hole then projected at $3.5 million. He and other board members called the plan a “bridge” to a referendum in April 2014.

The board ultimately only had to cut about $2 million and never dipped into its reserve funds.

Back in August when the school board authorized the community survey, Mack said he will recommend the board authorize a referendum of whatever amount the majority of survey responders say they would support.

The random survey of 400 district residents was conducted by Milwaukee-based Springsted Inc. in October. It asked questions as specific as what dollar amount individuals would support on a referendum and what letter grade they would assign district programs.

Results will be presented during the school board meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the District Administration Building, 215 S. Eagle St.

About Adam Rodewald

Adam Rodewald is the senior reporter for The Oshkosh Northwestern and a member of the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team. He has been a professional journalist since 2006. He specializes in open records, data analysis, and issues surrounding education, children and families.
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