Spring Election 2023: Silver Lake Salem Jt. #1 School District (Riverview School) referendum Q&A

Voters in the Silver Lake Salem Jt. #1 School District (Riverview School) will be able to vote on a $800,000 per year, three-year nonrecurring operating referendum in the April 4 election.

westofthei.com asked district administrator Jon Schleusner some questions about the referendum. Here are his responses:

What will you be asking for on the ballot with your district’s referendum?

Schleusner — Riverview is seeking authorization to exceed its state revenue limit by $800,000 per year for three years for non-recurring purposes. BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Joint School District Number 1, Village of Silver Lake, Town of Salem, Kenosha 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 $800,000 per year for three years, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and ending with the 2025-2026 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational and maintenance expenses.

Why is the referendum needed?

Schleusner — Riverview has never passed an operational referendum and has only attempted one once (a 2001 recurring operational referendum failed). The district has previously been able to operate within revenue limits and maintain its fund balance. However, with no increase to state revenue limits over the past two years, declining enrollments which negatively impact state aid amounts,  and the ending of federal ESSER funding, the district is facing a revenue shortfall. At the same time, high inflation has increased expenditures. The district is facing significant budget deficits in 2023-24 and beyond.

What is the projected property tax impact?

Schleusner — The estimated tax impact for 2023-24 on a home with a fair market property value of $100,000 would be $143.00/year or $11.92/month.

What will passing the referendum allow the district to do?

Schleusner — The additional funding will be used to:

  • Maintain Small Class Sizes, Academic Supports, and Student Growth Opportunities.
  • Maintain District Programming
  • Address Facility Maintenance Needs

It allows the district to maintain what has worked well for Riverview students, families, and staff while addressing facility needs.

What will be the effect of the referendum not passing?

Schleusner — If the referendum is not approved on April 4, 2023, the District will need to address its budget deficit with potential cuts or reductions to programming, services, and staffing.

How can people get more information or ask questions?

Schleusner — Information on the operational referendum can be accessed at the Riverview School website. https://www.silverlakejt1.k12.wi.us/.


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