Following narrow November defeat, Tomahawk School Board mulls April referendum
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – Following the razor-thin defeat of its referendum earlier this month, the School District of Tomahawk Board of Education is looking ahead to the April elections for a possible new referendum.
The referendum, which sought $3.5 million per year beginning with the 2021-2022 school year and ending with the 2024-2025 school year, was rejected by 51 votes in the Nov. 3 General Election.
District Administrator Terry Reynolds said the board discussed the referendum results and the possibility of a spring referendum during its Tuesday, Nov. 10 meeting, but took no action.
“I will be placing the topic again on the December agenda for further discussion,” Reynolds stated. “I will also have a recommendation at that time for (the board) to consider.”
If a potential April referendum were to be defeated, the district would face an average budget deficit of $3,929,097 million per year over the next four years and would not be able to propose another spending plan until the April 2022 elections.
Reynolds previously stated that, if an April 2021 referendum were to be defeated, the Board of Education would “need to make some very difficult decisions regarding cuts in staffing, student educational programming, and building maintenance.”
“All areas will be on the table for consideration, since we could not afford to continue to dip into the District fund balance to cover the costs for the current educational programming and building maintenance expenses,” he stated, calling the program and staffing cuts that would be necessary to make up the shortfall “extremely devastating for the educational programming of our students.”