Referendum 2021

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WHAT IS THIS?

 This referendum is for the Richland School District to restructure its campuses into a more efficient model.  We currently have a structure of five-separate buildings to operate and maintain.  This creates inefficiencies in our educational opportunities, as well as from a fiscal standpoint.  After an extensive process of gathering information from our community, it was clear our community wants us to provide the best educational opportunities in the most cost effective/efficient manner. 

This Referendum accomplishes this goal!

communityWhy Is This Needed?

  • The Community has asked us to provide the best educational opportunities in the most cost-effective/efficient way.

  • The Community expects us to be efficient in how we use staff and facilities.

  • The Community expects us remain compliant in ADA and Code items in our facilities.

  • The Community expects us to maintain our facilities and keep them safe, to allow our students the best educational environment.

Pass-FailWhat Happens if This Referendum Fails?

  • Some students will continue to transition between five different buildings during their educational career.  Studies show a student's academic and personal growth is enhanced when they have fewer transitions from one building to another.

  • The Richland School District will continue to remain in non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as other building code items.  While our buildings were originally built "to code,"  ADA standards have changed over the years, requiring us to update our facilities.

  • The District would still need to address the operational inefficiencies across five campuses, as well as the overdue maintenance expenses such as leaky roofs.  This would result in the District having to pursue cost-savings measures in the form of reduced programming, staff reductions, or other cost-saving measures.

  • Financially, while the District did pass an operational referendum in November 2020, there will be an impact to the budget should this referendum fail.  When deferred maintenance expenses are taken from existing funds, additional costs in short-term borrowing are incurred. 

  • The District will experience approximately $250,000 in continued annual operating expenses towards Lincoln and Jefferson in the form of utilities, heat, etc.

benefitsWhat Are the Benefits of This Referendum?

  • Fewer transitions between buildings for all students.  This leads to greater growth, both personally and academically.

  • Teachers and Staff are able to more effectively collaborate to improve learning outcomes.

  • Equity in Learning for all Students.  We currently have a greater percentage of lower-income families attending Jefferson than Doudna.  
  • The operational cost of maintaining four or five buildings is more expensive than the operational costs of three buildings (given the relatively equal square footage). 

  • There is an expansion in the number of special-education classrooms.  This allows us to greater meet the needs of all students.

  • We have room to handle student growth.  While all student enrollment projection models forecast us having fewer students in future years, we do still have room for growth in this model.

  • We can continue to attract and retain students.  The District faced a substantial growth in the number of students who open-enrolled out of our district about eight years ago.  However, the trend has started to reverse over the past three years and we are continuing to look at ways to promote our district.  Having fewer transitions and enhanced curricular opportunities may help this goal.

Tax IMpactWhat Will The Cost Be?

  • The project will consist of borrowing to not exceed $19,700,000.

  • The bond is for facility improvements, including roof updates at RMS, roof replacement at RCHS (25 years old), a grade 3-5 addition for the new Richland Intermediate School.  In addition, other facility improvements and deferred maintenance such as parking lot resurfacing, window and door replacements, electrical upgrades, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be completed.

  • The portion of property taxes related to the Richland School District will increase approximately $110 per $100,000 of property value annually.  This is less than $10 per month.
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