The Port Edwards School District is facing a challenge not many school districts are encountering these days – a steady rise in enrollment. When you take a close look at our culture, it’s easy to see why this is happening. We provide small class sizes and a personable environment. Port Edwards School District continues to embrace traditions like the Homecoming bonfire and parade that encourage camaraderie and instill a feeling of hometown pride. We employ high-quality staff with a commitment to their students and the standards we aim to deliver. The culmination of these factors make our District a very appealing option.
While we are grateful for this uptick in students, it also creates an unforeseen problem. The District is currently operating at a deficit due to a lack of resources to deal with this rapid growth in enrollment. We currently educate nearly 90 more pupils than we did in 2015. However, our funding is based on a three-year rolling enrollment average. That means the District is not receiving state aid for all these additional students. This year alone, we have 34 students that receive no state aid. The student body growth has also led to the need for additional staff, reopening classrooms, and extra supplies.
Due to this, in April of this year, the Port Edwards School District will be asking taxpayers to vote on an operational referendum that consists of $600,000 per year for five years. Funds from this referendum will be used to cover the cost of these additional students, update the curriculum to current standards, and address deferred maintenance needs that stem from a middle/high school building originally constructed in 1932.
The District prides itself on the continued growth in enrollment and strives to offer a well-rounded education and experience for its students. Ongoing funds from an operational referendum can aid in this endeavor. I urge you to educate yourself on the issues so you can make an informed decision, and together we can continue to improve America’s future…one student at a time.