School referendum on the ballot
The 2021 spring election takes place Tuesday, April 6. Village of Kohler voters will cast their votes for the state’s superintendent of instruction, state and local judicial court judges, village president and trustees, and school board. The Kohler School District referendum will also be on the ballot.
Local incumbents running unopposed include County Circuit Court Judges Samantha Bastil and Rebecca Persick, Village President Tom Schnettler, and Village Trustees Mike Zimmermann, Brian Post, and Michael Wandschneider, Jr. Current Kohler School Board members Tarra Mikolyzk and Amy Harms are being challenged by Tagen Vaughn.
Future of Kohler Schools improvements will be decided April 6
The Kohler School District referendum will be on Kohler ballots as the school seeks to address current facility constraints that limit offerings for students seeking careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), construction, and manufacturing. According to the school’s referendum materials, small classrooms and labs built in 1960 prevent the school from offering courses and hands-on learning in metals, robotics, computer science, computer-aided design (CAD), and woods. Current spaces do not provide for dedicated space to integrate STEM in existing curriculum across all grade levels, allow access to advanced equipment for all grade levels, or allow for new and enhanced course offerings, clubs, and co-curriculars.
Improvements to pedestrian safety, security, traffic flow, and parking on school grounds will also be addressed if Phase 1 of the referendum is passed, as will lack of air conditioning in the school. Phase 1 also includes a new public/school library with dedicated parking for public library users.
Some improvements to Ebben Field are included in Phase 1 of the referendum, but voters who vote “Yes” for Phase 1 are given the option to vote for additional athletic improvements with a Phase 2 question. See the graphic below left detailing what is included in the two phases. Keep in mind that Question 2 is not a stand-alone option. If you vote “No” for Question 1 (or leave it blank) and “Yes” for Question 2, your vote for Question 2 will not count. There is no Phase 2 without a Phase 1.
The district has emphasized that the portion of the school’s equalized property tax mill rate used to pay back debt will not increase whether one or both phases of the referendum passes. Should the referendum not pass, however, that portion of the school’s equalized mill rate used to repay debt ($1.55 per $1,000 of a home’s equalized assessed value) will decrease starting in 2021-22 and for the next 2 years, until the full $1.55 falls off.
Find more information about the Kohler School District referendum at kohlerpublicschools.org/referendum.