Letter: Passage of school referendum is ‘taxation without representation’

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To the Editor-

What was the reason the Stevens Point Area Schools passed? What made 7,500 people vote yes to a plan that burdens taxpayers to the tune of $14 million from now to eternity?

Was it retaining quality teachers, mental health, or something else? According to the superintendent, our quality teachers spend more of their day dealing with mental health issues than they do educating. Or is it providing a range of academic programs? If a student can’t read, write, do simple math, and balance a bank account, what good does a range of academic programs achieve?

According to the MacIver Institute, now that this referendum has passed, the district will receive roughly $17,000 per student. A minimum wage worker in Wisconsin receives $15,000 working 40 hours for a year. Was this referendum enacted to throw more money at problems the district has either addressed or kept hidden from the public in hopes more money will solve these problems?

I feel, as I’m sure most others do, that this is taxation without representation. Who in the district is working for the best interest of the taxpayers pumping all this money in and what tangible proof will that taxpayer receive to show all this new money will have a positive impact on the district, now and in the long term? Continued mediocrity cannot be the answer.

This fall, Stevens Point has a referendum to seek an additional $1 million to help the fire department increase staff. If that referendum fails but the school district passed, does the community value the cost of a student compared to the benefit of a firefighter/paramedic? There are too many questions without enough answers.

Cash Cooke