The Kettle Moraine Referendum and What the Outcome Means for Our District

Photo Courtesy of Fox 6 Now

Photo Courtesy of Fox 6 Now

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On Tuesday, April 2nd, over 8,000 people from the Kettle Moraine School District voted on a $5.975 million referendum. The purpose of the referendum was to allow the schools to maintain current staff and programming. Unfortunately, it did not pass; a mere 140 votes stopped it. As a result, there will be some considerable changes occurring within the district, some of which could affect the elementary schools in a tremendous way.

Before the vote, district officials said if the referendum didn’t pass, they may consider consolidating the four elementary schools into one. This would cause students to be redistricted, making transportation more difficult. It is uncertain whether this plan will actually come into effect, as it is still very early, and there are many more decisions that need to be made. 

Out of everyone involved, teachers will find themselves affected head-on. The Kettle Moraine High School website states that the lack of referendum funding will result in “reductions in staffing, beyond what is aligned to the decline in student enrollment.” It also says there will be a “negative impact on the ability to attract and retain high-quality teachers.” 

The district goes on to state that there will also be “reductions to programs and services for students.” It is not certain exactly what this means, but this spring, some students started fear for their arts classes. That said, Kettle Moraine is not a normal district when it comes to the arts. They have an unusually large program schoolwide, as well as the Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform), a charter at Kettle Moraine High School. Hopefully, this will lead to a higher motivation to preserve the arts programs as much as possible. 

There’s no doubt that many school staff and students were upset when the referendum didn’t pass. Despite this, it won’t be the end of the world, and the schools will learn to adapt. Kettle Moraine Schools Superintendent, Pat Deklotz said in a press release, “Our community has spoken, and we respect their decision. We ask that they continue to be engaged in the difficult discussions that lie ahead.” The news may be unfortunate, but the district will continue to move forward, providing quality education and care for their students to the best of its ability.