From: Save Our Schools Association Executive Committee: Karl Sonneman, Jerry Miller, Natalie Siderius, Kendall Larson, Emilio DeGrazia, Allen Hillery, and Gretchen Michlitsch
Save Our Schools announces a public forum to discuss our proposal for a capital funding referendum to renovate and update our District 861 school buildings.
When: Wednesday, February 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: The Friendship Center, 251 Main Street in Winona.
The Save Our Schools Association has proposed a $30,000,000 10-year capital funding referendum, with the funds to be allocated to individual schools over the span of 10 years.
We are in favor of keeping Winona’s neighborhood and community elementary schools open because these schools are good for kids and good for the community.
School District 861 needs to renovate and update our existing elementary schools to support children and teachers and to make the best use of our resources. We support fiscally responsible renovation, updating, and maintenance of our community’s schools.
In November, our community overwhelmingly rejected a referendum that would have cost us $83 million plus $62 million in interest while closing our neighborhood and community public elementary schools. Our proposal would make better use of existing resources.
The district office continues to face challenges in working with numbers. The survey recently mailed to households in the district includes significant errors. The numbers it presents for current numbers of students in relation to maximum capacity of our existing school buildings are false, partial, and misleading. In reality, our current elementary school buildings provide almost exactly the capacity for students that was proposed in the November 2017 referendum.
We would like to hear what the community thinks about our capital funding proposal.
We believe that together, our community can build a vibrant elementary school system that supports teachers and students in reasonably sized, fiscally responsible neighborhood and community schools.