• This web page is designed to provide information to help you make an informed decision on the April 2, 2024, Recurring Operational Referendum for the Stevens Point Area Public School District. 

    Referendum Results, Yes, 51.7%, No 48.3%, Thank You



Supporting Student Needs: Mental Health

Why Does Student Choice Matter?

Exceptional Faculty and Staff: The Heart of Our Schools

What's At Stake? Hear From Dr. Hirsbrunner in this Referendum Presentation

  • Preparing for the Future of Stevens Point Area Schools

    The Stevens Point Area Public School District has served students and families well over the years. We take great pride in being an integral part of the community. The opportunities we offer and the people who provide them help take our students to heights of achievement.

    At the same time, SPAPSD faces pressing financial challenges that require the attention of our entire community. On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, residents will vote on a proposed operational referendum question to help address these challenges and ensure our educational system is appropriately funded.


    Like many school districts across the state, SPAPSD has financial needs due to a number of factors:

    • Outdated Funding Formula: Wisconsin schools operate under a state-imposed revenue limit that restricts the amount of money they can receive through state general aid and local property taxes. SPAPSD’s revenue limit ranks in the bottom third of all Wisconsin districts.
    • Lack of State Funding: SPAPSD does not receive enough revenue to adequately fund programs and services. The state legislature’s approved funding has not kept pace with rising costs and inflation in recent years. 
    • Increasing Needs: The needs of our students have increased dramatically, especially in the areas of special education and mental health. These are expenses for state and federal mandated services for which the district receives inadequate funding. Special education needs alone represent about $11 million of our budget.
    • Rising Costs: Expenses for running our buses and heating our schools continue to increase, as do a range of other costs that are out of the district’s control.

      Current mill rate for taxpayers is $6.70 per thousand. If approved, after two years, that would increase by 26 cents to $6.96


    On April 2, 2024, the SPAPSD School Board is asking our community to approve an operational referendum that would allow the district to exceed its revenue limit on a recurring basis.

    • The revenue limit would be increased by $8.75 million for the 2024-25 school year.
    • The limit would increase another $5.25 million (for a total of $14 million) for the 2025-26 school year.
    • The increase of $14 million per year would then remain in place for the 2026-27 school year and beyond.

    An approved referendum would enable the district to continue funding our top priorities, including:

    • Retaining high-quality teachers and staff
    • Providing a range of academic programs to students
    • Offering behavior and mental health supports 
    • Re-establishing a healthy fund balance 
    • Funding our 10-year facility maintenance plan
    • Maintaining technology and infrastructure for 21st century learning

      decorative pie chart of funding priorities


    If approved, the referendum would have an estimated property tax impact of 13 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in the first year. Including adjustments for assumed property value increases, the owner of a home that was worth $100,000 at the time these calculations were made would see a tax impact of about $44 per year. 

    In year 2, the estimated property tax impact, including adjustments for assumed property value increases, would be an additional 13 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, or an additional $47 per year. Recurring at $91 thereafter. 

    The estimated impact is based on a home valued at $100,000 at the time the calculations were made and includes an assumption of increasing property values.

    visual representation of the information above


    The cost of inaction is significant, affecting not only our students, but the entire fabric of our community.


Your Questions, Answered

Listening Sessions, Communications and Media