Referendum on ballot divides people in Dodge Co. town

RUBICON (WITI) -- Pay more in taxes or they'll close your school. That's how some residents in a small Dodge County town feel about a referendum they say is dividing the community.

The Rubicon School District in Dodge Co. has only one school -- Saylesville Consolidated. Class sizes at the kindergarten through 8th grade building are small. There are only about 140 students total. Now some parents are trying to get the word out to "save" the school.

According to materials sent to voters, the district is running out of money. A referendum on the April 1st ballot will ask voters to allow the district to exceed its state-imposed revenue limits by $450,000 for each of the next three school years.

FOX6 News was told this is the third time the issued has been before voters -- each time saying "no" to an increase in funds.

If approved next week, district officials say homeowners could pay an additional $100 or more in school taxes next year.

Some town leaders tell FOX6 News, the issue is so heated, they wouldn't go on camera to discuss it.

The district claims the money will be used to maintain the current curriculum -- and not for new programs or teachers. But there's also another question before voters.

An advisory question asks if voters want to dissolve the school district altogether. If the district goes this route, the school could remain open for the next two years before students are sent to neighboring districts.

FOX6 News spoke with the district's administrator by telephone. He says it's expensive to run a school with such small class sizes. The increase in taxpayer dollars will help the school offset state cuts it has experienced in the last four years.