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2 Wisconsin districts decide not to pursue merger

Nov. 16, 2020
The Fox Point-Bayside and Maple Dale-Indian Hill districts had been discussing consolidation earlier this year.

After considering consolidation earlier this year, two school districts in Wisconsin have have decided against the idea.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports In a letter to parents in the Fox Point-Bayside and Maple Dale-Indian Hill school systems, the districts’ two superintendents listed several challenges associated with a potential consolidation.

As a result of those challenges, the two districts have decided against a merger, they wrote.

One of the challenges would be that voters would need to approve such a merger.

Voters also would need to approve a combined operating referendum for the new, joint district that would cover operating referendums now in place in each district — which would total about $4 million annually. If such a measure did not pass, the new district would immediately face a significant shortfall.

The Maple Dale-Indian Hill district won approval of a $16.37 million referendum in April 2019, and facilities improvements there are well underway. The district also has a $980,000 per year operational referendum that runs through the 2028-29 school year.

In April 2019, the Fox Point-Bayside School District passed an operational referendum of $3.1 million annually through the 2022-23 school year.

Fox-Point Bayside Superintendent Jeff Dellutri and Maple Dale-Indian Hill Superintendent Timothy Joynt say in their letter that facility improvements needed for buildings in the Fox Point-Bayside School District would still have to be addressed even in a consolidated district.

An effective consolidation would likely require closing Stormonth Elementary School.

They also say that, regardless of whether Stormonth were to close, it is unclear whether consolidating the districts would benefit the taxpayers of both communities.

"As a result, we do not plan to move forward with legal consolidation discussions at this time," the letter says.

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