Why Now?

Stoughton is facing huge budget shortfalls

The District is facing significant budget shortfalls beginning in the 2024-2025 school year and will need to start a significant budget reduction process if these shortfalls continue.

Avoid cuts to staff and programs

The District must operate within a balanced budget each year and cannot overspend the funds received.  If the referendum fails, the Board will need to consider a number of ways to reduce spending in order to balance the budget.  The district annually looks at ways to cut costs and stretch resources as much as possible and is at a point where reductions of this magnitude will have significant impacts on critical services for families. We would not be able to reduce $3.8 million without reducing course offerings and laying off staff. 

Avoid short-term borrowing 

All school districts rely on state aid and property tax payments to fund the majority of expenses.  While these expenses routinely occur on a monthly basis, aid and tax receipts only occur at specific times during the year.  Many districts encounter cash flow shortages at various points in the year when they do not have enough cash reserves to support monthly expenses prior to receiving their aid or tax levy.  Districts in this situation utilize short term borrowing to bridge the gap.  SASD is proud of their strong fiscal management and have been able to avoid short term borrowing to manage monthly payroll and other expenditures.  Avoiding short term borrowing means we do not have to allocate precious resources to interest costs associated with debt and can use those funds to support students.

Our Process

Budget challenges are not new for Wisconsin school districts.  Over the last decade, operational costs have increased, state funding has stagnated, and the overall enrollment of the District has declined leading to a significant fiscal cliff despite strong fiscal management.  

The District sent out a community-wide survey to gauge the support of a potential referendum with results presented to the Board at a special meeting on January 3rd.  The Board voted to approve a question on the April 2, 2024 ballot on January 15th.

View more information on our Planning & Financial Background website.

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