Future for Palmyra-Eagle Area School District uncertain after referendum voted down

NOW: Future for Palmyra-Eagle Area School District uncertain after referendum voted down

WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Voters in Palmyra and Eagle rejected an operational referendum that may now lead to the end of their school district. 

The future for the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District is uncertain. It needed $11.5 million dollar referendum to pass to keep up with operations and prevent it from dissolving.

"We love our school, ask mostly anyone here, we love our school," says parent Amy Tauriainen. 

Some people who live near the school have "Vote Yes" signs are posted up in front of their yards. 

“I think it’s emotional for a lot of people," said Tauriainan, "they are just thinking about the money and my kids are more important than money.”

If it passed, the referendum would have given district permission to collect taxes above the state's revenue limit to operate and maintain the district for four years. 

About 60% of voters voted no and now there's uncertainty for parents wondering where their kids will go. 

"The taxes were just too high and they were asking for too much. I think that was the problem," says Tauriainen. 

The district says the revenue is going down while costs go up, but the measure was defeated 2,276 to 1,473. 

The school district says at this time it would be premature to speculate what would happen moving forward. On Thursday there will be a board meeting to discuss options. 

The school district released a statement saying:

On behalf of the school board of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District I wish to thank everyone who made an effort to vote on the proposed school district’s operational referendum. This matter was clearly an emotional one for many individuals and important to residents as evidenced by the large turnout for the spring election.
While disappointed in the results, an answer has been provided to the school board in terms of both the short and longer term future of our school district. Over the next several days, weeks and months the school board will review the results and begin to make decisions as warranted by the outcome of the election. At this time it would be premature to speculate as to what determinations might be made moving forward. Our school board will consider all options available to them and will, as has been evidenced in the past, clearly and openly make their decisions known to the larger community.
What will happen and what is known at this time is the dedicated employees of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District will continue working to fulfill our stated mission “to ensure students excel with intellect and virtue, inspired by innovative educators who engage and challenge each individual.” I have no doubt in the ability of our staff members, teachers and administrators to continue to work in a professional manner on behalf of the students entrusted with their care. It is not only our professional but moral obligation to do so.
The current school year will unfold and preparations to end the existing school year will be made as in year’s past. Shortly after that, planning and preparations for the 2019-2020 school year will be set in motion. The board has publicly stated its intent to fully operate next school year and we will continue to provide quality academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular opportunities for our students in spite of diminished fiscal resources to do so.
School board members of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School District were determined to engage our community in the democratic process. The community has had the opportunity to voice their opinion on our future. We respect the final outcome and will be responding appropriately.
Dr. Steven M. Bloom, District Administrator

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