In November of 2016 Franklin voters went to the polls to vote up or down on a school referendum. I wrote in July of that year:
The option to be considered by voters would build a new two -story middle school with a $43.3 million referendum representing an estimated annual tax impact of $73 for each $100,000 of a home’s value for each of the next 20 years. A new two-story middle school would be built on District-owned land adjacent to the current middle school. The referendum would be large enough to pay for the new building and provide space for future expansion. Green space and competition/ recreational fields would be provided. Supporters claim the referendum would significantly improve parking and traffic flow.
I blogged extensively about my opposition to the referendum. There were two main reasons. One, there was that tax increase for the next 20 years.
“Research has found little relationship between school funding levels and student performance.”
Will Flanders, education research director at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty
Read more here.
NOT AT ALL CONVINCING:
The cafeteria is too small to meet the needs of the current student population, resulting in students waiting extended times in serving lines during their lunch period.
The final vote tally:
YES: 7,804 (52.03%)
NO: 7,196 (47.97%)
Interesting note: one-fourth of the people who cast ballots did NOT vote one way or the other on the referendum question.
Didn’t know enough about it?
From one of my very, very sharp readers, sent about a week before the election:
“Kevin, I didn’t realize that Franklin is in the middle of a referendum – it shows how low profile they are keeping it to focus the vote on yes.”
“The $43.3 million referendum represents a tax increase of 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.”
But that’s on top of the already too-high school taxes, already too-high city taxes, Milwaukee County taxes, MATC taxes, sewerage district taxes, and state tax for forestry purposes.
A soggy groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 29, 2017.
The weather was much better for the official ribbon cutting on September 10, 2019.
I opposed the referendum, but the new school is a gem providing great opportunities, there’s no doubt about it.
THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2019
2) FOREST PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL OPENS
3) ECONOMIC GROWTH CONTINUES TO FLOUNDER
4) VELO VILLAGE AND MORE
5) RECYCLING CHANGES
6) THE STRAUSS BRANDS SAGA
7) FORMER HIGH SCHOOL COACH CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT
8) WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE, SO LET’S FUND ANOTHER STUDY
9) FRANKLIN’S NEW LOGO
10) THE CARMEX COMEBACK