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School operating referendum on the Nov. ballot

Sarah Giddings

The School District of Florence County will be asking voters to approve an operating referendum on the November 7 ballot. Residents may be scratching their heads wondering why another referendum so soon after passing the $14.5 million building and renovation vote last year. Last year’s vote was to improve the facility; this fall voters are asked to help keep the school running, providing high-quality teaching staff and programs for students as well as building upkeep.

On Aug. 16, the board approved a referendum that would allow the school to exceed the revenue cap by $1.25 million per year for three years, beginning in the 2018-19 school year when the current operating referendum expires.

Because funding from the state has dropped dramatically over the past decade, school boards across the state have been forced to go to the taxpayers to ask for support. According to Florence School District Administrator Ben Niehaus, Florence received approximately $3 million in state aid in 2004 and this year stands to see only $400,000.

For the full article, see this week’s issue of The Florence Mining News.