With guidance from two community surveys and the commendable work of a 40-member volunteer Community Task Force, the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education unanimously voted to bring two referendum questions to our community on April 6, 2021.

A key recommendation from community leaders on the Task Force and accepted by the Board was a lower tax levy rate as part of the referendum plan. On January 25, the Board announced its commitment to a lower $8.99 mill rate for the next seven years if the referendum plan is approved.

Question 1 asks to renew the operational revenue limit override at a reduced rate of $5 million per year for five years. The funding would continue the district’s ability to maintain smaller class sizes, retain and recruit high- quality employees, and support annual facilities maintenance. This new operational referendum would replace the current referendum when it expires in 2023.

Question 2 is for facilities updates in all eight district schools, including HVAC system updates to improve air quality. Additionally, plans for major renovations at Bay View Middle School and Forest Glen Elementary School include new physical education additions and updated learning environments.

We continue to be grateful for the ongoing engagement of families, students, staff, and community members in our referendum planning. To learn more, join us at an upcoming Community Information Session at Bay View Middle School March 31st, visit our website at www.hssdschools.org/referendum, and review the informational mailers sent to all residents this month. A virtual community information session webinar can also be found on the district website.

Absentee voting is available through April 1st. Visit www.myvote.wi.gov for more information. In person voting on Election Day is Tuesday, April 6th from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. We will see you at the polls.

For additional information regarding this article, contact Vanessa Moran, vanemora@hssdschools.org.