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Racine Unified to discuss possible referendum at Monday meeting
Racine Unified

Racine Unified to discuss possible referendum at Monday meeting


RACINE — The Racine Unified School Board, during a Monday work session meeting, is set to discuss a possible resolution to put a referendum to voters asking to exceed the revenue limit.

Little information about the planned referendum discussion was shared through the School Board agenda posted on the Unified website late Friday afternoon, except that the time frame is proposed to be 30 years. However, Unified officials have previously said they hope to pay for a portion of a planned $710 million facilities overhaul with funds approved through a referendum.

The plan includes the closure of several school buildings over the next five or six years, as well as construction of new school buildings and renovation of others.

If a school district wants to collect taxes beyond its state-imposed revenue limit, it must obtain voter approval to do so.

Racine Unified has gone to voters, asking them for funds beyond the revenue limit, 12 times in the past 20 or so years, with 21 separate requests. Eleven of those were approved and 10 failed. Unified’s most recent and largest request, approved by voters in 2014, was to collect a total of $127.5 million beyond the revenue limit over the following 15 years.

The School Board engages in discussion during work sessions, but does not take any votes. The board only takes action during board meetings, typically scheduled for the third Tuesday of every month.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday at the Racine Unified Administrative Service Campus Building 1, 3109 Mount Pleasant St. in Racine.

Caitlin's five favorite positive stories from Racine County schools this year

It’s important to remember that there are positive stories about our local school systems as well.

My stories about lower-than-optimal Racine Unified test scores, plans to close school buildings and problems with special education law compliance have gotten the most attention from readers this year. That's why, with this list, I want to highlight the good.

A group of volunteers is ensuring elementary students make the walk to school safely and students with disabilities are learning job skills. A student at the top of her class was the first in her family to graduate high school, an elementary school hosted a Thanksgiving meal for its special education families for the 25th year in a row and a student with autism who used to be a “runner” recited the Pledge of Allegiance at his graduation.

I’m proud of the stories I’ve written that hold the district accountable and promise to continue doing so, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that good things are happening.


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Caitlin Sievers covers education in Racine County with a primary focus on Racine Unified School District. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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