Brodhead referendum fails: what's next? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Brodhead referendum fails: what's next?

BRODHEAD (WKOW) -- Voters in Brodhead turned down a $3.5 million dollar referendum Tuesday night.

Now, district administrators are looking at some tough choices.

The district needed to make up $3.5 million dollars over the next four years, or risk cutting eight teachers, three staff members, some course offerings and all extracurricular activities.

District Administrator Chuck Deery says, "Pretty much everything on that list would have to be lost in the second year, unless we come up with a second referendum or some other ideas."

Jim Matthys, the school's Athletic Director, says, "It's been pretty emotional this morning, there's no question about it. I'm concerned for the kids."

Trophy after trophy, medal after medal line the hallways at Brodhead High School. Now, teachers say some kids are looking at open enrollment to other districts: even some parents.. are thinking twice.

Matthys adds, "I have two kids, and as a parent, I'd like my kids to have the same opportunity as I did in school, whether that's music, or athletics.."

This district is not alone. More than two dozen school districts are looking for millions of dollars in funds they can't make up.

Tuesday, there were two referenda that failed: Brodhead and Green Lake. Six districts passed their referenda. 24 more districts will ask for millions of dollars from taxpayers in April.

Mary Bell, the president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, says, "What we're finding is increasing numbers of districts who are going to referendum, to try to make the case to voters in their area that the funding that they're receiving is not sufficient to meet the needs of their children."

Leaving districts like Brodhead, hoping they can find a solution so their kids can keep making headlines.

Deery adds, "Difficult results, but the community has spoken, and the board has to figure out where to go from here."

The school board has a meeting Monday night, where the administrator tells me they'll work to find a solution: that may include another referendum question down the road.

Online Reporter: Teresa Mackin

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