November 16, 2010

Racine Unified mulls $100 million referendum

Nobody can say we weren't warned.

It was way back in March when Racine Unified laid out the broad outlines of its "reinvestment plan" --the first glimmer of a referendum proposal for new and upgraded schools that the administration hoped to bring before voters in the fall of 2010. (Here's VIDEO of the administration's proposal.)

Costing $73 million... plus $7.5 million for operations... plus...  well, final number to be provided later.

On Monday, the board moved that plan forward, slightly behind its original timetable -- but with even bigger numbers. Now the referendum is planned for Spring. And the final number could be $100 million. Or more.

Here's today's Journal Times' story from Monday night's board meeting, at which three iterations of a referendum were laid out, ranging from $79 million to upwards of $100 million. We put the link here so RacinePost readers can comment on the plan.

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  1. Does the RUSD board live in their own bubble? Have they no concept of the current economic situation? Do they honestly feel they can operate as if we were living in prosperity?

    We all need to live with less. That includes everyone. Ourselves, businesses, all forms of government as well as our schools. This would be the knife into the heart of our community expecting tax payers to fund this at precisely the wrong time. If you want to improve the schools wait at least until the economic situation improves. The RUSD board needs to use some common sense.

  2. Here are my reasons for voting no
    1. My house was assessed by the city and it went down in value (less than what we paid for it).
    2. RUSD bought a building for 9 MILLION dollars
    3. Cady Vista School is sitting EMPTY. It can be opened for more classes to reduce class size
    4. Reopen neighborhood schools like Winslow and reduce the cost of bussing
    5. Racine has the highest unemployment rate in the state
    6. people can not afford a higher tax bill

    I can go on and on. This is absolutely ridiculous and I hope everyone votes NO

  3. Normally Sir and I disagree. However, he's 100% correct about the insane, inane RUSD referendum. Until the present depression ends and Racine enjoys a modicum of prosperity, we don't need to blow dough on pricey new schools or offices. What's more, we ought to eliminate the nonsense which clutters up the RUSD budget. For example, we have a lady principal who equates dragon boating with education and promotes an elitist IB program which has no place in an impoverished bluecollar community. Then there's the music ma'am at Horlick who pushes the "High Renaissance Feast" at people who don't know where they'll scrounge their next meal. If Dr. Shaw wants Racine to support the referendum in better times, he'd be wise to rein in his vociferous edu-babes a.s.a.p.

  4. The out of touch RUSD board must be totally replaced. The staff who have pushed this should be replaced. Everyone who supports this spending in this economy with high unemployment and so many people losing their homes should be ashamed of themselves. My frustration has nothing to do with the need for the items listed but rather the timing. People are struggling to keep their homes and feed their family. RUSD coming out with a plan to tax for $100 million shows how out of touch the RUSD board and staff have become. They are not representing the community. This is the wrong time to try to sell any new spending let alone $100 million in new spending. The Board must have missed the message of the November election. People are tired of run away spending and taxes. This will not help our struggling community.

  5. The above comments are what disappoints me most about Racine and leaves me no hope for its future. When people start bashing IB and the Renaissance Feast, the tide of negativity has certainly reached a new low. Sure, let's eliminate these things and the other positive things and drag this community completely into the gutter. While I agree this is no time for a referendum, this community can ill afford to toss out the positive things that can actually serve as an attraction for folks to come here (or stick around.)

  6. 5:18

    Who is coming to this S... hole?
    High crime,poor schools,High Unemployment,who?
    Why would they $50 for recycling carts? More taxes for a poor school that should be shut down because most minority kids can't graduate so all we have is a huge pool of min wage workers. Go Racine

  7. I am not paying any more money for an idiot school board to try to run more schools when they can't successfully run the ones they have already. Why don't you try using the money you already get to impact students lives instead of paying for the teachers increasing pension plans. Good idea- raise taxes for the individuals whose children can't get a decent education. Why don't you start holding teachers accountable for those they educate.

  8. Caledonia - Let's get out now! My thought was that RUSD could fix this, but they have proved us wrong.

  9. this is insane but look around. how old are park and horlick? the newest high school is case and it was built when?

    i agree it is a bad time to look for this kind of money-maybe they can get if from the 810 mill ryan wants to give back-but if racine residents ever to emerge from the dark ages they live in new schools are a must.

    to make them just educational is wrong. rusd must also include alliances with local unions to develop apprentice programs. college is not for everyone. technical/trade school is a MUST if the unemployment in racine is ever going to be lowered.

    after graduating from the t/t school students would have a background to enter the work place in skilled jobs. they would then be able to move anywhere to earn a living. getting out of racine would be the best possible future for future students.