2019 Operating Referendum

The Sparta Area School District is seeking to continue its operating referendum for the next 3 years at $750,000/year.

This operating referendum will allow our district to…

  • Continue to provide modern curriculum, which includes replacing textbooks and instructional materials as they become outdated
  • Continue to provide the same level of after school programming, which includes tutoring, academic enrichment, and structured social interaction
  • Maintain school safety and security equipment, including continuing to add security cameras
  • Update computers and classroom technology to stay current and maintain replacement cycles

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an operating referendum?

An operating referendum is an opportunity for residents to vote on whether the District can levy additional dollars than what is currently allowed under state-imposed revenue caps. Funds secured through an operational referendum are used to support the day-to-day operations of the school district, and are used within the year they are received.

Why must schools use operating referendums?

In 1993, state law changed, requiring school districts to gain permission from citizens to increase the school tax levy. Since then, many school districts have needed to hold an operating referendum to address budget challenges.  In fact, in the past 10 years, there have been 351 successful operating referendums in the State of Wisconsin to fund school operations.

How will my taxes be impacted?

The Mill Rate is a figure representing the tax amount per $1,000 of property fair market value. There will be no new impact on the Mill Rate.  This 2019 referendum authority would replace the existing referendum authority from 2014 so it will not increase the existing property tax levy.


How have operating referendums served our district?

A $750,000 operating referendum has been in place for the past twelve years. These funds have allowed our district to make additions such as a visitor management program, secure door entries, and security cameras. It has also provided all students grades 4-12 with a personal iPad or computer and has allowed us to update our curriculum.

What happens if the referendum fails?

Textbooks and materials would become outdated. After school programming would be available to fewer students. Safety and Technology equipment would eventually become outdated and unreliable.  If the referendum fails, it is likely that there will be future attempts at passing an operating referendum to maintain educational programming.