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Vote on th April 4

Operating Referendum 2017 School District of Menomonee Falls Newsletter

Your voice is our guide in education Dear Falls Community, The School District of Menomonee Falls is one of the oldest institutions in our community and we’ve proudly served our Village for 135 years. We all share strong family values, high expectations for our schools and a common goal to prepare all students for college, workforce and career. We are committed to working with the community and balancing our educational mission, responsibilities and priorities with those of our taxpayers. The Board has defined operational funding needs for the next 3 years in order to maintain programs, class size and neighborhood elementary schools. These are all things the community & parents said they value when surveyed in September 2015. In Spring 2016 our community provided funding that will complete approximately 70 projects across the district that will make our schools safer, more efficient and more capable of preparing students for a profoundly different future. We sincerely thank you for that. The Board also proposed a permanent 2% lift in the school district’s revenue limit which did not pass. As a result, all schools and divisions underwent a 7% operational budget reduction for the 2016-2017 school year. The Board has listened to feedback from across the community voicing that the community did not want a permanent increase. We want our community to provide its voice on April 4 before we make changes to the structure of education in our district. Sincerely, Dr. Pat Greco

Superintendent School District of Menomonee Falls

What you told us you value:



Residents surveyed think our schools have a positive impact on home value. Source: School Perception Survey, Oct. 2015

Residents surveyed place high priority on elementary art, PE, tech & health. Source: Springstead Phone, Survey Oct. 2015

Residents surveyed place high priority on elective courses at middle & high schools.


Source: Springstead Phone, Survey Oct. 2015

What is being proposed? The Board of Education is proposing a temporary lift in the District’s revenue limit for the next 3 years. Revenue Limit = Local Taxes + State Aid The revenue limit is set by the State. This limit was lowered by the State to reflect changes under Act 10 and hasn’t increased with inflation. 50,000,000

District’s Revenue Limit Trend, 2008-2016


Before making significant changes to the structure of education in the District, the Board of Education would like community input with a vote on April 4th. The referendum would raise the revenue limit by:





million $ in 2017-2018

million $ in 2018-2019

million $ in 2019-2020

in 2020-2021

Frequently Asked Questions: How is this referendum different from last year?

This referendum is one question on operational funding, it’s temporary and will last for 3 years.

Why 3 years?

This would give the District time to see how enrollment changes in our community, and see what decisions our state legislature will make in relation to educational funding. After Year 3, budget decisions would be made at that time.

How do we prioritize the district’s spending? In response to our community’s voice, the School District of Menomonee Falls places funding priority on small class sizes and wide course offerings. It’s a priority the district has held for decades. Examples of where we invest more than our neighbors include low class size, career courses and annual facility maintenance. We spend less than our neighbors on administration. For more detail, visit the FAQ section of the Operational Referendum website. We invest more in Classroom Instruction & Low Class Size

We invest more in Facility Maintenance

We invest more in Career Preparation

We spend less in Administrative Costs

Falls GTown Ham

Falls GTown Ham

Falls GTown Ham

Falls GTown Ham

Is your question not on here? Visit for our full FAQ. What will change in the next 3 years if the operating referendum does not pass? Restructure Elementary Schools to partner schools. (Shady Lane 4k-2 + Valley View 3-5) (Ben Franklin 4k-2 + Riverside 3-5)

Increase class size at elementary, middle & high school levels. Reduce courses, elective offerings & extra-curricular opportunities. Eliminate 40 staffing positions district-wide.

(This does not include reductions based on enrollment.)

How is enrollment trending? We grew really fast as a district between 1950 and 1970. Since then we’ve kept a close eye on enrollment as our village changes. We’ve forecasted that our downward trend will begin to level out as the last two years’ enrollments were above the projected decreases.

If the referendum does not pass the first change in the 17-18 school year would be restructuring our elementary schools. We are currently building a model of what bus routes will look like as well as class sizes and locations. Parents will be notified of whether their child will ride the bus or walk and how the restructuring changes pick up & drop off times. The restructuring will also increase class sizes as grades collapse. At the MS & HS level, course reduction will be determined as students register for classes. This will increase class size for remaining courses. Projected vs. Actual Enrollment 2012-2017

Enrollment in 2011-2012: 4,485

Enrollment in 2016-2017: 4,019

What is the impact to taxpayers?

Referendum Question: 3-year Temporary Increase Year 1 2017-2018

Budget Increase

Each year the district budget would increase approximately



Year 2 2018-2019

Year 3 2019-2020

$1,100,000 $1,200,000

$1,100,000 $1,200,000 $700,000



Per Month: $1.75

Per Month: $4.50


$53 $83

Annual net impact for a $250,000 Home

$21 $33 $18

$21 $33


Annual net impact per $100,000 of property value



Per Month: $4.41

Per Month: $11.33

$72 Per Month: $6

$53 $83 $45

$181 Per Month: $15.08

Tax impact projected on overall levy which includes retirement of existing debt and property valuation increases of 1.75% annually.

Want to know the exact net impact of the referendum on your taxes?

Try out our tax calculator, visit:

How have we already cut costs?


Reduced admin and staffing costs across the District by $4.6 million. Employee contribution to health care was increased from 7.5% to 13% in the last year. Reduced school and division budgets across the District by 7% in 16-17. Over $7 million in energy cost avoidance since 2001.


Refinanced existing debt saving $2+ million & reduced short term borrowing by 50% ($5.25 million). Retirement liability reduced by 59% ($16.9 million).

Where our success shows:

3 5 82 98 107 1,737 2,800

Sportsmanship Awards — In the last 3 years the WIAA have recognized our students & community as leaders on the sidelines.

PBIS Schools Of Distinction — We sustain programming that teaches students to be exemplary citizens, kind & respectful to all.

Clubs & Varsity Sports — Students are

state and nationally recognized for their work outside of the school day.

Percent Graduation Rate — Students

are achieving at record levels, finding success in and outside of the classroom.

Advanced Placement Scholars —

MFHS provides more AP courses than any neighboring district. Families save thousands in tuition.

WCTC Credits Earned — Our

families saved $231,000 in tech college credits last year.

College Acceptance Letters—

The class of 2016 was accepted to colleges across the country.

Menomonee Falls School District W156N8480 Pilgrim Road Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Don’t forget:

Here’s what the ballot will look like at the polls:

• Early voting runs from March 15 - 31 at Village Hall • Bring your photo ID when you vote • Visit to see where you’re registered • Check both sides of your ballot • VOTE APRIL 4th!



UM “Shall the Sc h Wisco nsin b ool District o ea f Men Sectio omon n I2l.9l, uthorized t e o Wisco schoo e x c eed th e Falls, Wau nsin St l year, kesh e atu b re $3,000 ,000 in y $2,300,000 tes, by $1,1 venue limit a County, specifi 0 th in the (endin e 2018-2 0,000 in the g in th e 2019-202 0 scho 019 sc 2017-2 d in e 2019 hood h ol yea 0 -2020 eleme sc r for no ool year, an 18 nt tive le d by nrecu arning ary schools hool year) t rrin o ,s oppor tunitie afeguard c sustain curr g purposes ent ne s, and ourse ig o maint ain cla fferings and hbors elecs size? YES ” NO

Find out more about our Operational Referendum: | VOTE ON APRIL 4TH!

Join us for a referendum info session: Feb. 7, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | MFHS Library Feb. 15, 6 - 8 p.m. | Ben Franklin Elementary Cafeteria

Meet us at a coffee chat:

March 11, Ally’s Bistro 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. March 25, Nino’s Bakery 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Feb. 24, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | CE & Rec Room 102 A March 14, 6 - 8 p.m. | MFHS Library

Pursuing excellence one student at a time ...

Do you have additional questions about the referendum? Schedule an informational presentation by calling 262-255-8352.

2017 Operating Referendum Newsletter  
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