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Your Views: Parkview district residents can’t afford new schools

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November 19, 2013

Let’s “talk turkey.” Parkview wants to raise taxes between $7 million and $20 million over 20 years, either renovating or building new schools. Comparing those costs, the realistic answer is obvious! Fix them!

Where would millions in new taxes come from? Researching federal, state and district data, we find over the last three years district enrollment declined 11 percent. Schools staffing was cut 7.5 percent. Equalized value decreased 2.98 percent versus Rock County’s 0.76 percent. The median district family income decreased 3.6 percent. The mean per capita income dropped 16.7 percent. Median house price decreased 1.32 percent. The district’s revenue (state aid, local taxes) limit decreased 8.7 percent.

The district has 31.7 percent of households receiving Social Security. Household income is less than $40,000 for 28 percent. The average commute is 27 minutes. Parkview, the district’s biggest employer, employs mostly out-of-district teachers and staff. What does Parkview’s state report card, second lowest in Rock County, suggest? Estimated cost-per-pupil could increase over 20 years as much as $19,493; per district family, $11,461. The $262 per $100,000 projected increase is a possible 30 percent yearly school tax increase. More to balance current budgets?

Taxpayers have spoken! School referendums here have failed. Towns like Plymouth are one mile of new road from bankruptcy. Additional funds denied! Another question: Can Parkview by itself afford a 21st-century education for kids? Given my research, Parkview, without a bigger business and population tax base, appears unsustainable in tomorrow’s Wisconsin. Consolidation is a realistic option.

BILL REDMER

Orfordville



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