Story by WRN/Andrew Beckett
A new report shows voters in several Wisconsin school districts approved $1.35 billion in borrowing for construction projects last year.
An analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance found voters in 54 districts agreed to borrowing money for new construction projects, which marked the highest level of borrowing in 25 years. Alliance researcher Dale Knapp also noted that 77 percent of the school referenda passed, which was the highest rate since 1993.
Knapp said a possible reason for the growing requests is that schools are pushing up renovations and expansions to take advantage of a stronger economy. Another factor may be schools working to update facilities built during the last big building boom in the 1990s. “Right now it’s easier to make the case for it, than it is during a recession,” he said.
Referenda to exceed state-imposed revenue limits also passed at a high rate, with nearly 82 percent winning approval last year.