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Superintendent Haws Letter Addressing Achievement and Budget

07/05/2015

Dear RUSD Families, Staff and Community, 

We are celebrating great results in RUSD! This school year has been one of accelerating MOMENTUM for our Racine Unified students. We are so encouraged by great student achievement results at all grade levels across the District. Click here for results.

Thanks to our community’s support for the referendum, we have three schools under construction and many major maintenance projects happening in our schools this summer. We’ve also purchased 5,250 student laptops for all schools. Click here to read more.

As we report out on our results and use of referendum funds, it is also important to me to be transparent with you about the 2015-16 budget and its impact on the tax levy. Our referendum proposal committed to keeping the tax levy flat. As promised, the tax levy was lower this year (2014) and we anticipated a similar low rate for this coming year. What we did not anticipate from the state budget was: 

  1. No increase in per-pupil revenue limit for 2015-16, despite increasing costs, 
  2. A $1.1 million reduction for RUSD in State General Aid each of the next eight years. These funds were previously used to reduce our school property taxes (Chapter 220 Desegregation Aid), and
  3. A new requirement for local taxes to fund new private school voucher students at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. 

These state budget decisions will cause our tax levy rate to increase. Before the final budget is adopted in October, we will make budget adjustments that limit this increase as much as possible while maintaining high-quality educational programs for our students. 

We will continue to keep you informed of our student results as well as our budget decisions. I encourage you to ask questions and get engaged. I look forward to developing our partnership with you and accelerating MOMENTUM and success for our RUSD students.

Thank you for your continued support,

Dr. Lolli Haws 
Superintendent