FDL School District Referendum on Ballot Tomorrow

It’s the eve of the Spring Election, and one of the key areas on the ballot for voters in the Fond du Lac School District are two referendum questions that total $98.5 million. The first question will ask the community to approve $91.5 million in funding to address improving safety and security, upgrading exterior building features such as roofs, windows and doors, and upgrading building systems – including heating, ventilation, electrical and plumbing. The second question asks the community to approve $7 million to add air conditioning in the eight school buildings in the district that do not currently have it. The referendum questions are based off of a community survey that was sent out last fall, which found that residents would support a referendum in the 90-million dollar range.

District Superintendent Jim Sebert says two questions were placed on the ballot to adhere to what different areas key stakeholder groups put a priority on. “There’s three groups that take a survey like that – Parents, Staff and a group called Non-Parent/Non-Staff. That’s 70 to 80 percent of the community – people that haven’t been a teacher, haven’t been an employee, maybe had kids in the district at one point and no longer do. It’s important that we listen to all three of those groups,” he said. Sebert says all three groups identified the three areas in question one – safety and security, exterior upgrades and upgrades to building systems – as top priorities. “With the air conditioning, the parent group and the staff group rated it very high, the non-parent/non-staff group did not rank it quite as high,” Sebert explained. “So to be true to the survey, we thought, and the board thought, it’s important that we consider it, but let’s break it into a second question and let people have the ability to vote on that separately.”

Sebert points out that question two is contingent on question one passing, so if question one fails, but question two passes, the district will not go forward with any improvements. Sebert says they have received strong feedback on both referendum questions during a number of presentations, building tours and more community information sessions about the referendum over the last several months. Polls are open 7 am until 8 pm tomorrow. Read more about the district referendum here