A veteran visits Yorkville Elementary School in November. (File photo/SLN)

 

By Dave Fidlin

CORRESPONDENT

Yorkville Elementary School’s 5-year, $3.35 million total referendum will be on the spring general election ballot in less than two months.

With the countdown clock ticking, district officials are in the midst of planning information meeting dates and other specifics in an overture board members and administrators say is aimed at getting as much data in the hands of voters as possible.

Yorkville, one of four K-8 districts feeding into Union Grove High School, went to referendum last April with a similar request that had an open-ended time frame. The question failed in a narrow 21-vote margin.

At a School Board meeting Feb. 12, District Administrator Dave Alexander continued discussions with elected officials on the referendum communication efforts.

A resolution was adopted last month, and it fell within the state’s permissible window of holding a referendum in April. With the formality out the way, Alexander at this week’s meeting said, “Really, now, everything shifts to our communication efforts.”

One such communication effort will come by way of an open house-style public information meeting, scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the school cafeteria.

The desire to go full steam ahead with the information campaign at this point is important, Alexander said, because of when the referendum falls in conjunction with the school calendar. Across Wisconsin, the spring general election is Tuesday, April 3 — smack dab in the middle of Yorkville’s spring break.

For this reason, Alexander and others said it is important to share information with voters who might be out of town on election day to take advantage of absentee voting, which is available at municipal buildings from March 19 to March 30.

While school officials cannot tell voters how to vote at the ballot box, Alexander and others within Yorkville said this week they want to do whatever they can to bring information into the hands of those heading to the polls this spring.

In a message reminiscent of last year, Yorkville officials have indicated the one-school district continues to grapple with budgetary constraints. The additional $670,000, annually, over the five-year timeframe would go toward operations.

A mailing, which should arrive in Yorkville residents’ mailboxes late this week or early next week, lays out how the $3.35 million would be dispersed, if approved. All funding, according to the district, is aimed at closing projected budget deficits in the years ahead.

Some of the district’s pinpointed needs in the next five years are curricular. Funding would be infused to such core subjects as English and language arts, math, science, social studies and writing.

Referendum dollars also would be earmarked toward a few capital expenses, including roof replacement and renovations to the school’s original restrooms. Additionally, funds would give Yorkville the opportunity to increase guidance counselor staffing hours and bring into the fold a full-time interventionalist and gifted and talented professional.

The district’s other communication efforts will include an additional mailing, a second public information meeting in March and multiple messages across social media in the weeks ahead.

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