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Your Views: Parkview referendum result evokes memory of Forrest Gump

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April 19, 2014

“Be careful what you wish for” should be the watch phrase of the Parkview School Board. A 26-vote margin isn't a mandate. Instead of enhancing community cohesion, the referendum split it down the middle. Low voter turnout—rather than merit—appears to have decided the passage.

Come December tax time, for the next 20 years, squawks from those who were for and against it will be heard when they pay the 35-40 percent increase in school district property taxes and higher rent. The district will be back soon for more as increases in staff costs are inevitable. Recalls anyone?

Parkview wasn't alone. Thirty or so school districts across the state, possibly driven by disenfranchised teachers unions, approved referendums. Gov. Walker's brain trust must be rolling with mirth as Wisconsin school funding is being voluntarily transferred from the state back to district property owners through these successful local referendums, thus freeing up state funds and responsibility.

Assembly Speaker Robin Voss was recently quoted as saying there was no legislative interest in providing any new assistance to local schools. Expanding choice, more vouchers, charter schools, utilization of two-year colleges, and closing underperforming schools all will lead eventually to public school consolidation. In spite of new bricks, Parkview's shelf life, I think, is less than 10 years. Its 66 percent Department of Public Instruction rating (D+ to me), is simply unacceptable. Forrest Gump's “stupid is as stupid does” seems an appropriate description of Parkview's referendum result.

BILL REDMER

Plymouth Township



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