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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there two questions instead of one?

State law requires the District to have separate questions due to the type of question being asked. The first question provides the school board with the authority to proceed with a building purchase/renovation project through long-term financing (issuing debt) such as the issuance of general obligation bonds. The second question provides the school board with the authority to increase its annual operating budget (increase the revenue cap) by a specific dollar amount on a recurring basis. If approved, the operational referendum would provide funding for maintenance and technology.

Why does the District want to purchase St. Patrick's School?

EASD is currently in year three of a five-year lease of St. Patrick’s School. Over 200 4K-12th grade students attend the charter school, which this year introduced Options Career and College Academy (OCCA) to our community. From its inception, Options Charter School has grown year after year, and three years into our lease, it is clear that Options needs a permanent home of its own.

Why would the District buy an old building in need of renovation instead of building new?

The proposed purchase and renovation of St. Patrick’s School is less than half the cost of new construction. Purchasing St. Patrick’s allows us to be good stewards of our community, preserving a historic building and providing the district room for continued growth.

What items would be renovated in St. Patrick's School?

A detailed list of proposed renovations, including site and building improvements, is included on the Estimated Project Cost document on our website. Improvements include such things as window and door upgrades, landscaping, HVAC, and alarm system upgrades.

How can the borrowing of $6,920,000 have a $0 tax impact?

The timing of this proposed borrowing would correspond with the retirement of the 2002 middle school debt. By planning the new debt issue with the middle school debt retirement, the district will be able to hold the projected debt service tax rate at the current level resulting in zero impact.

What is Options Charter School?

Options Charter School is a learning community of families and teachers serving 4K-12th grade students in a non-traditional setting. Students personalize their instruction with in-building and at-home curriculum. At the High School level, a partnership with Gateway Technical College and UW-Whitewater allows students to earn college credit, technical diplomas, professional certificates, and even associates degrees while still in High School.

My student goes to a traditional brick and mortar school building, why would I vote to purchase and renovate St. Patrick's School for Options Charter School?

Providing a variety of instructional models helps keep numerous options available for students and families. Many students who participate in such programming did not anticipate desiring or needing such a structure when they began their educational careers. Providing this option to families has helped serve local family needs, allow them to stay in our school district, and keep our local tax revenue with us, benefiting all programs within the school district. For example, before the creation of the Options program, the District was losing approximately 90 students to virtual schools via open enrollment, representing an annual revenue loss of nearly $750,000 a year. Since the creation of the program, the vast majority of students can receive services here locally, and they choose to stay in the District.

What does the operational funding question mean?

The operational funding question allows the school district to increase its overall budget by $200,000 per year above the current revenue limit. EASD is comprised of approximately 740,000 square feet of instructional and infrastructure space over 190 acres of property. We've stretched our annual district-wide maintenance budget as far as it will go. In addition to the preservation of our buildings, regular maintenance of our technology programs helps keep our students current and competitive post-graduation.

What is on the District's annual maintenance/capital project list and what are the costs associated with each project?

Visit our 10-year Capital Project Plan to learn what the funds from our annual operating budget go towards. This spreadsheet also looks at the future needs of the District. Another aspect of annual maintenance budgeting includes roofing. Click here to look at projected roofing maintenance costs through 2024.

C
urrently, the district budgets $300,000 for annual capital maintenance projects. Facility surveys indicate that building owners should be investing at least $1 per square foot in annual maintenance projects. Approving this referendum question would allow the district to increase that investment from $0.40 per square foot to $0.67 per square foot, or a 67% increase.

Won't the District have more money for its annual budget if it pays off its debt from previous referendums?

The debt from previous referendums is in bonds for building purposes. That debt is not a part of our operational budget and any savings realized there cannot be used for operational costs such as maintenance. It can only be used to pay off long-term debt.

How will this affect my taxes?

The purchase and renovation of St. Patrick’s School has an estimated tax impact of $0 per year. Question two, which proposes an increase in the revenue limit will have an estimated tax impact of $9 per $100,000 of property value ($ 0.75 per month). This tax impact calculator can help you determine the impact on your property taxes. If approved, taxpayers will first note the increase on their December 2020 tax bill.

How do I vote?

To learn about voting requirements, to register to vote, and to find your polling location, please visit myvote.wi.gov/en-us. Click on “My Voter Info” to make sure you are still registered to vote.


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