In a referendum scheduled for April 1 the Oshkosh Area School District is asking for $3.95 million, each year, for the next 7 years. I have supported every referendum in the past, but enough is enough. I am against it for a few reasons.
First, they say they need this or $2.5 million will be cut from the school budget next year; $3.95 million is a bit more. Where is the other $1.45 million going and why seven years?
Second, I am tired of the scare tactics. If they don't get this money they'll "likely" cut arts and music programs. They'll eliminate classes. Anyone else tired of these threats? I say do it! Remove the music programs and gut the classes. Let's see how long the school board keeps their jobs. Stop crying wolf!
Third, they make it sound so affordable. Read it carefully: "A monthly tax impact of less than $4.75 per $100,000 of home value." Monthly? I pay taxes yearly. Let's try $57 per year for 7 years. Sound like a lot more doesn't it?
Lastly, they compare us to other districts. Sorry, that's too simplistic. You can't compare Oshkosh to Omro or Milwaukee. They are different tax bases. Regardless, they are saying, "See were not as bad as everyone else so it's OK if we get a little worse." Really?
A referendum Band-aid will not fix this gaping wound. A wound created when Gov. Scott Walker cut $1 billion of aid to our schools. Simple cause and effect.
I hope many of you will join me in voting against the Oshkosh Area School District referendum on April 1. I also hope you join me in voting for Mary Burke on Nov. 4 to restore our schools and funding to the levels they should be.