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May 17, 2021

Proposed budget has lowest mill rate in district history

If the assumptions made in building the 2021-22 Hamilton School District budget are accurate, taxpayers will see the lowest mill rate in the nearly 60-year history of the district. The Hamilton School Board gave its approval for a $65.4 million budget that will be presented to voters at the Annual Meeting.

The mill rate is projected to be $8.08 per $1,000 of equalized property value – 37 cents less than the current rate. For each $100,000 of property owned, citizens will pay $808 to support local school taxes which is $37 less than this year. 

The budget is 1.15% less than the current budget and assumes property values will increase 2.5% and state aid will increase 8.3%. 

The levy voters will be asked to approve at the Aug. 16 Annual meeting is $32.5 million compared to this year’s $33.2 million levy.

Sentiments about masks, critical race theory voiced

Approximately 30 people, many of whom were district residents, showed up at the meeting to make their opinions known on two issues. Among the 17 people who spoke, most were at the meeting to oppose the continued requirement to wear masks until the end of this school year. Several people also spoke about their disagreement with a concept known as “critical race theory.”

The district sent a message May 14 to staff and families indicating that the face-covering requirement will stay in place for the rest of the current school year, but masks would be optional for summer school. Of those speaking about the requirement, all but two said they want the mandate dropped. 

The district is looking into an initiative to address achievement gaps among student groups and ensure that all students feel respected and a sense of belonging in school. Several speakers were concerned that the controversial critical race theory may be adopted.

Neither subjects were on the night’s School Board agenda, and in accordance with Wisconsin Open Meetings laws, board members were not able to discuss them at the meeting.

Student board representatives recognized

Hamilton High School Student Board Representatives Peyton Impola and Arushi Ranasaria were recognized for their service to the School Board in the past year.

Personnel matters decided

In personnel matters the School Board:

  • accepted the resignations of Hamilton High School Administrative Assistant Meghan Goldner, effective June 1; Woodside Grade 4 Teacher Nicole Welter, effective at the end of the school year; Marcy Special Services Paraprofessional Lindsey Mark, effective June 10; and Hamilton High School Fitness Education Teacher Lauren Rogahn, effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
  • approved the retirement requests of Willow Springs Head Custodian Dewayne Jackson, effective June 11 and Hamilton Art Teacher Ellen Acuff, effective June 11.
  • appointed Dionne Bichler as Marcy literacy interventionist, effective Aug. 23; Jennifer Vande Hei as Public Information Office part-time administrative assistant, effective June 16; Christopher Timm as high school business education teacher, effective Aug. 23; Tracey Edmond as Marcy speech and language pathologist, effective Aug. 23; Katherine Gartmann as Woodside teacher, effective Aug. 23.