Evers Calls for All Voters to be Mailed Absentee Ballots

By John Forester | March 27, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

After repeatedly urging voters to request absentee ballots for the April 7 election to avoid going to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers today called on the Legislature to change state law so all registered voters could be mailed one.

In a video message on Twitter, Evers also called for ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted and for local election officials to be given more time to count them.

The move comes 11 days out from the election. Evers, who has repeatedly rebuffed calls to delay the vote, didn’t call for delaying the vote in his message today.

“The bottom line is that everybody should be able to participate in our Democracy,” Evers said in the video.

So far, four federal lawsuits have been filed seeking changes to the upcoming April 7 election due to concerns over COVID-19. That includes calls to mail ballots to all registered voters and to push back the deadline for clerks to receive and count absentee ballots. Now, those ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

See the tweet here.

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Schools Seek Additional Funds Through Referendum

By John Forester | March 27, 2020

From the Wheeler Report…

More than 10% (48) of Wisconsin’s 421 public schools are holding a total of 57 referendum questions on April 7. That includes:

  • 27 schools seeking to issue debt
  • 8 schools seeking to exceed their revenue cap on a recurring basis
  • 22 schools seeking to exceed their revenue cap on a non-recurring basis

Schools are asking for $504,495,000 in debt issuance, Neenah asking for the largest request of $114,900,000 to construct a new high school, provide district-wide safety and security, renovate the existing high school to convert to an intermediate school and a middle school.

Milwaukee is asking for the largest expansion of their revenue cap on a recurring basis, with a request of $87 million to “exceed revenue limit for recurring purposes.”

The largest non-recurring ask is Racine, with $1,072,500,000 for building modernization, land acquisition, enhancements for student career pathway programs, safety improvements, furnishings and equipment, technology, and debt service for new building and other capitol improvement projects.

District District Name Total Amount Type Brief description
0182 Ashwaubenon $10,050,000.00 Issue Debt Facility improvement projects across the District
0182 Ashwaubenon $3,650,000.00 NR – 2020 Revenue limit amount to cover student mental wellness services and operation of air conditioning
0231 Baldwin-Woodville Area $12,500,000.00 Issue Debt $12,500,000 for facility upgrades
4263 Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine $2,875,000.00 NR – 2020 Resolution authorizing the School District Budget to exceed revenue limit by $575,000 per year for five years for non-recurring purposes.
0441 Birchwood $5,800,000.00 NR – 2020 Operating Referendum to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $530,000 for the 2020-2021 school year, and by $1,317,500 per year for the 2021-2022 school year through the 2024-2025 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of building and facility maintenance, student programming, curriculum materials and other ongoing operational expenses.
0896 Cambridge $9,900,000.00 Issue Debt Referendum to issue debt to construct and equip a performing arts center.
0896 Cambridge $150,000.00 RR – 2021 Referendum to exceed the revenue limit on a recurring basis for purposes consisting of operating the performing arts center and other District operational expenses.
0994 Cassville $600,000.00 RR – 2020 A recurring authority of $600,000 starting with the 2020-2021 school year for recurring purposes, consisting of paying the costs of maintaining the educational programs, facilities and equipment of the District.
0994 Cassville $3,000,000.00 NR – 2020 The School District of Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin, to exceed the revenue limit and by an additional $400,000 for the 2020-2021 through 2022-2023 school years, and $600,000 for the 2023-2024 through 2025-2026 school years for non-recurring purposes, consisting of paying the costs of maintaining the educational programs, facilities, and equipment of the District.
1183 Columbus $30,000,000.00 Issue Debt Facilities improvements to the elementary and high school; maintenance and infrastructure improvements at all district buildings, acquisition of land; and acquisition of furnishings and equipment
1218 Crandon $5,000,000.00 NR – 2020 The School District of Crandon will ask district voters to consider a referendum question to exceed the revenue limit by $1,000,000 for each of the next five years, commencing with the 2020-2021 school year.
1253 Cudahy $11,750,000.00 NR – 2020 Referendum to Exceed Revenue Cap for five years for non-recurring purposes for a total of $11.75 million
1407 Denmark $2,775,000.00 NR – 2020 Resolution authorizing the school district budget to exceed revenue limit by $925,000 per year for three years for non-recurring purposes
2744 Dodgeland $17,000,000.00 Issue Debt Initial resolution authorizing general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $17,000,000  This is for infrastructure updates, remodeling of learning environments and classroom addition.
1540 East Troy Community $8,000,000.00 NR – 2020 Exceed the revenue limit by $1,600,000 for 5 years
1600 Eleva-Strum $1,725,000.00 NR – 2020 To be used for ongoing maintenance and educational programming.
1645 Elk Mound Area $15,730,000.00 Issue Debt Initial resolution authorizing general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $15,730,000
1638 Elkhorn Area $6,920,000.00 Issue Debt BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Elkhorn Area School District, Walworth County, Wisconsin that there shall be issued pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $6,920,000 for the public purpose of purchasing a building and site known as the St. Patrick School, including approximately 16.5 acres of related land located at 534 Sunset Drive, Elkhorn, Wisconsin; and renovating and equipping the building.
1638 Elkhorn Area $200,000.00 RR – 2020 BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Elkhorn Area School District, Walworth County, Wisconsin that the revenues included in the School District budget be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $200,000 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of ongoing maintenance of all District facilities and technology updates.
1883 Fort Atkinson $9,000,000.00 NR – 2020 $3 Million Non-Recurring for 3 Years on April 7, 2020
1883 Fort Atkinson $2,250,000.00 RR – 2020 $2.25 Million Recurring Referendum on April 7, 2020
2310 Green Lake $4,385,000.00 NR – 2021 Exceed revenue limit for 4 years for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational costs and capital project costs associated with facilities maintenance
2394 Greenwood $4,650,000.00 NR – 2020 Resolution authorizing the school district budget to exceed revenue limit for five years for non-recurring purposes
2730 Johnson Creek $15,000,000.00 Issue Debt 2020 Elementary school addition to the Johnson Creek MS/HS
1376 Kettle Moraine $7,000,000.00 RR – 2020 Exceed inequitable revenue caps
3213 Luck $9,850,000.00 Issue Debt General obligations bonds
3479 Mequon-Thiensville $55,700,000.00 Issue Debt Referendum for the purpose of paying the cost of a District-wide school facilities improvement project consisting of:  District-wide safety, security, site and ADA improvements and renovations; construction of additions at the Elementary and Middle Schools and acquisitions of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
3619 Milwaukee $87,000,000.00 RR – 2020 Resolution authorizing the school
district budget to exceed revenue
limit for recurring purposes
3892 Neenah $114,900,000.00 Issue Debt Construct a new high school, district-wide safety and security, renovating the existing high school to convert it into an intermediate school and a middle school.
3906 Nekoosa $2,900,000.00 Issue Debt Replace the track, replace football/soccer field, update the softball field, improve other athletic infrastructure
3906 Nekoosa $10,000,000.00 NR – 2020 Maintain/improve current programs and services, add staff to support struggling families, add teacher and upgrade tech ed equipment, add teacher to help K-5 students who are not meeting grade level math learning targets, add teacher to virtual program.
3941 New Holstein $8,000,000.00 Issue Debt Renovate the elementary school, high school science classrooms, site improvements, purchase of furnishings, fixtures, and equipment.
4137 Oostburg $7,500,000.00 Issue Debt Renovations and remodeling for a theater in the current gymnasium location and expansion of the library and cafeteria/kitchen; construction of an addition for a new gymnasium, fitness/weight room and classrooms; updates to the office and entry to enhance safety and security; building infrastructure and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
4165 Osceola $2,000,000.00 NR – 2020 Operational – $1,000,000 each year for a period of two (2) years on a non-recurring basis for the purpose of supporting each child’s success and providing a safe environment by supporting District operation costs including curriculum, utilities, educational programming, technology, and transportation.
4165 Osceola $10,000,000.00 Issue Debt Facilities Needs – $10,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of capital maintenance projects at the high school, middle school and intermediate school.
4186 Osseo-Fairchild $3,900,000.00 Issue Debt Paying the costs of improvements to the District’s buildings and grounds and equipment acquisition including: building and site maintenance projects; expansion and remodeling of technical education spaces and acquisition of related equipment; and district-wide technology upgrades and replacements.
4186 Osseo-Fairchild $3,150,000.00 NR – 2020 Paying District operating costs as follows: $575,000 for the 2020-21 school year, $725,000 for the 2021-22 school year, $875,000 for the 2022-23 school year and $975,000 for the 2023-24 school year.
4151 Parkview $3,000,000.00 NR – 2020 Operational Non-Recurring Referendum for technology, curriculum, programming, bus routes, and recruiting and retaining staff
4347 Phillips $9,860,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of additional classrooms and expansion and renovation of the Middle/High School Building.  Upgrades and site improvements along with potential demolition of a portion of Phillips Elementary School along with acquisitions of furnishings, fixtures, and equipment.
4368 Pittsville $6,700,000.00 Issue Debt Acquisition of land for and the construction of a new CTE facility, replacement of portion of Elementary School roof and replacement of backup boiler at High School.
4620 Racine $1,072,500,000.00 NR – 2020 For non-recurring purposes consisting of building modernization, land acquisition, enhancements for student career pathway programs, safety improvements, furnishings and equipment, technology, and debt service for new building and other capital improvement projects.
5019 Saint Croix Falls $14,000,000.00 Issue Debt To pay for the cost of a school building and improvement program, consisting of constructing new, as well as remodeling and capital improvements of existing facilities.
5100 Sauk Prairie $64,985,000.00 Issue Debt Paying the cost of school buildings renovations, outdoor facilities and improvement programs
5376 Siren $900,000.00 NR – 2020 Operating referendum
2485 Southwestern Wisconsin $2,500,000.00 Issue Debt Improvements to elementary playground to allow access for handicapped or students in a wheelchair along with improvements to athletic field, updated football field, baseball and softball fields and add a new track for students/community to use.
5474 Spooner $16,000,000.00 Issue Debt District wide infrastructure, safety and security and ADA improvements. Academic and cafetorium additions at SES, demolition of the small MS gym and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
5642 Sturgeon Bay $16,840,000.00 Issue Debt Issue debt for an addition and remodeling of Sawyer Elementary School, safety and security upgrades at the High School/District Offices, the closing of and possible removal of Sunrise Elementary, CTE area upgrades, and necessary bathrooms remodeling to become ADA compliant.
5670 Suring $4,500,000.00 NR – 2020 For the purpose of paying District operation and maintenance costs and upgrades and enhancements to facilities and equipment, technology, curriculum and technical education.
5985 Viroqua Area $2,750,000.00 NR – 2020 Exceed Revenue Cap for educational and maintaining district facilities.
6083 Waterford UHS $95,000.00 RR – 2020 The School Board of the Waterford Union High School District has passed a resolution to provide for a referendum election that the final school district budget shall include an amount not to exceed $95,000 in excess of the revenue limits imposed by Section 121.91 of the Wisconsin Statutes each year beginning with the 2020-21 school
year on a recurring basis for the purpose of paying the costs of the salary, benefits and operational expenses associated with a school resource officer.
6251 Wauzeka-Steuben $954,000.00 NR – 2020 Non-Recurring 3-year Operational Referendum
6293 Webster $6,500,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of an addition to expand the career and technical education area of the Middle/High School; parking lot, athletic facility and site improvements at the Middle/High School; renovations, improvements and technology updates at the Elementary School  and the Middle/High School; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
6440 White Lake $3,500,000.00 NR – 2020 For operating expenses and maintenance/building projects and upgrades.
6615 Winter $4,000,000.00 Issue Debt Facility upgrades
6713 Wonewoc-Union Center $4,560,000.00 Issue Debt Paying the cost of a school building repair and improvement program consisting of: safety and security upgrades, ADA compliance updates, maintenance and building infrastructure improvements, career/technology spaces, science labs, building-wide HVAC, cafeteria improvements, site improvements, and acquisition of related furnishing, fixtures, and equipment
6713 Wonewoc-Union Center $195,000.00 RR – 2020 Referendum to exceed the revenue limit by $195,000 to be used for operational purposes
6734 Wrightstown Community $28,700,000.00 Issue Debt Initial resolution authorizing general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $28,700,000
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DOL Issues First Guidance on FFCRA

By John Forester | March 27, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm focuses on the first guidance issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the BoardmanClark Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Tax Obligations and Credits for Governmental Employers Under the FFCRA

By John Forester | March 26, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Buelow Vetter Law Firm focuses on tax obligations and credits for governmental employers (including school districts) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Buelow Vetter Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Risser, Taylor Leaving the Legislature

By John Forester | March 26, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

State Sen. Fred Risser, the longest serving state lawmaker in the nation’s history, announced today he won’t seek reelection this fall after more than six decades in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Chris Taylor, a Madison Dem and member of the Joint Finance Committee, said she isn’t seeking reelection to her Assembly seat this fall and won’t be running for any other legislative seat in 2020. She had been considered a top candidate to run for Risser’s seat once he retired.

See the Risser release here.

See the Taylor release here.

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Regular Session Ends Today

By John Forester | March 26, 2020

From The Wheeler Report . . .

The regular session of the Legislature ends today, and all legislation which did not pass both houses fails pursuant to SJR-1. According to the Joint Rules, the limited floor session scheduled for April 21-22 is limited to:

Under Senate Rule 22, appointments may be taken up as well. Any bills not passed through both houses today would have to be revived in an extraordinary session of the Legislature to be acted upon.

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Utilizing Virtual Instruction and Remote Learning Programs During COVID-19 School Closures

By John Forester | March 26, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Strang Patteson Law Firm focuses on school district use of virtual instruction and remote learning programs during extended COVID-19 school closures.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Strang Patteson Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Leave Notices

By John Forester | March 25, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Strang Patteson Law Firm focuses on the employee leave notices for two new employee leaves of absence established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Strang Patteson Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Evers’ Stay at Home Order Kicks in Tomorrow

By John Forester | March 24, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …
Gov. Tony Evers’ order shutting down nonessential businesses will kick in at 8 a.m. tomorrow and last through April 24, or until a superseding one is issued.

The order includes a host of businesses that will be allowed to remain open from grocery stores and pharmacies to auto repair shops and banks.

The order also doesn’t apply to those businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and “other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals.”

Evers’ order lays out details of the “safer-at-home” order he previewed yesterday. It also bans nonessential travel.

See reaction throughout the day at WisPolitics.com and in the PM Update.

See the release here.

See the order here. 

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Legal Update: Additional Guidance on Educating Students with Disabilities

By John Forester | March 24, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Buelow Vetter Law Firm provides us with updated analysis on guidance provided to school districts on educating students with disabilities during COVID-19 school closures.  You might recall the SAA posted Buelow Vetter’s first update on this issue on March 17th and we are pleased to provide SAA members with this update.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Buelow Vetter Law Firm.

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