The Batavia school board has voted to put the $140 million referendum on the April 4 consolidated election ballot, after it was narrowly defeated in the Nov. 8, 2022 general election.
The district is seeking to issue debt to fund the replacement of H.C. Storm and Louise White elementary schools, along with maintenance and improvement projects at the district’s other six schools.
According to a news release from the district, the first referendum failed by just 24 votes. Following the November election, the school board collected input from district staff and community members.
More than 1,700 surveys and 170 additional feedback forms were completed. A summary of the survey results and interview feedback can be found in the news section of the referendum page on the district’s website: www.bps101.net/referendum, the release stated.
Additional details can be found in the FAQ section on the referendum page on the district’s website.
“The board considered many options and perspectives. Through hundreds of conversations with individuals and focus groups, it was determined that the majority wanted the question to be placed back on the ballot,” Superintendent Lisa Hichens stated in the news release. “Fifty-six percent of respondents to a community-wide survey agreed. If this referendum passes, the amount of our annual debt payment, and the taxes collected for it, will remain level. If the referendum fails, taxes will go down.”
The board and district staff are working on a new outreach plan for this election cycle.
“The board and staff are committed to sharing clear information about the real and present needs within our school buildings. We hope to keep our community engaged in the months leading up to the April election with improved outreach efforts,” Hichens stated.