Spring election 2024: Brighton School referendum Q&A

Voters in the Brighton School District will be able to vote on an operational referendum in the spring election on April 2.

We sent a questionnaire regarding the referendum to district administrator Carrie Reid. Here are her responses:

School District: Brighton School District #1

The person answering the questionnaire: Carrie Reid (District Administrator)

What is being sought with your district’s referendum?

The question on the April 2, 2024 ballot is that of an Operations Referendum. The referendum question is asking permission to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by:

  • $200,000 for the 2024-2025 school year
  • $225,000 for the 2025-2026 school year
  • $250,000 for the 2026-2027 school year
  • $275,000 for the 2027-2028 school year

Why is the referendum needed?

State revenue limits over the last 15 years have not kept up with the pace of inflation and annual budgets cannot address prioritized needs. Unfortunately, the district’s reserved funding can no longer sustain regular budget shortfalls. Without a referendum the district will need to short-term borrow to bridge budget gaps, resulting in high interest rates. 

What is the projected property tax impact?

A passed referendum means an estimated tax increase average of $5.60 per month (approximately the cost of a Culver’s meal), or $67 annually on a property value of $100,000. The duration of the increase is four years.

What will passing the referendum allow the district to do?

The increased funds will be used to maintain operations and staffing at the current levels while enabling the district to complete regular building maintenance and updates; i.e. HVAC repairs, roof repairs and updates, resealing blacktop, etc.

In Brighton School, we benefit from small class sizes (student-to-teacher ratio), recruitment and retention of teachers, assuring we pay off our bills such as transportation and utilities, and offer opportunities above and beyond what is required of the State. Spanish classes for 5-8 grade students is an example of an academic opportunity above and beyond what is mandated. 

What will be the effect of the referendum not passing?

If the referendum is not passed the district will need to reduce staff (as that is our largest expense), and complete building and grounds maintenance on a necessary basis as funding allows. Brighton is a lean-run district as far as educational costs rank. In short, there isn’t a lot of room to cut costs that won’t impact actual teachers in front of students. If a referendum is not passed the district will need to look at cutting costs and the results will be larger class sizes, possible combined classes, and fewer student services.

How can people get more information or ask questions?

For more information please visit the referendum page on our website by clicking on the link: www.brightonschool.net or contact Carrie Reid (262.878.2191 or creid@brightonschool.net).

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