WDC voters say yes. And yes.
It was a win-win situation for the Wadena-Deer Creek school district Tuesday as voters approved both questions in a school levy referendum.
Question 1 passed 1,058 to 787 while Question 2 passed 947 to 876. A total of 1,850 people voted.
Question 1 proposed to rescind the existing referendum revenue authorization of $101.17 per pupil with an authorization of $650 per pupil effective for taxes payable in 2010.
Question 2 proposed to increase the school's general education revenue by an additional $150 per pupil.
The net effect is a levy of $800 per student. The authorization will be applicable for 10 years.
District 2155 includes the communities of Bluffton, Deer Creek and Wadena.
"I am thrilled but I also understand what a commitment it is by the individuals in all our communities," WDC Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom said. "It says that all three communities support their school."
The results are unofficial until they are canvassed by the WDC school board. A canvassing meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Friday.
The authorization is applicable for 10 years.
District 2155 was seeking the added revenue to fund a variety of curriculum issues. The levy will enable the district to receive matching funds from the state. According to Dahlstrom, the school requires more revenue to keep up with the need for textbooks and technology tools. Dahlstrom has also seen a need to align the school's math, reading and science curriculum with state standards.
Wadena-Deer Creek's secondary and primary school enrollment stands at just higher than 1,000 students in grades K-12. The largest class in District 2155 at present is the junior class which stands at 110 students. The other 12 classes are under 100.
The WDC school board will continue to streamline the district's expenses next spring. Over the last three years, the board has had $2.1 million in staff and program reductions.
Levy funds will not flow into the district coffers for 12-18 months because they will be taxed on 2010 incomes.
Dahlstrom said in a statement that she appreciates the work of people from the community who voted and worked on the levy referendum, those who participated in the discussions and "asked difficult questions, expected straight answers, and, given thoughtful consideration, supported the referendum."
Dahlstrom said she understands the tax dollars need careful stewardship now.
"I remain ever mindful that tax dollars to support Wadena-Deer Creek schools emanate from your hard work, and that the district's leadership is obliged to work to remain good stewards of your support," she said. "Please know that I continue to welcome opportunities for meaningful dialogue as we, stakeholders in our children's education, meet the challenges that lie before us. Our district will continue, with your help, to provide WDC children with the quality of education our community deserves and expects."