District’s tax rate to increase
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Overall enrollment in the Marshfield School District has gone down by 33 students. According to Finance Chair Amber Kiggens-Leifheit, the decrease partially coincides with a much smaller kindergarten class.
Though the total enrollment is down, Kiggens-Leifheit said that open enrollment and the partnership with Rural Virtual Academy have done much to keep student numbers where they are.
“Marshfield does really well with open enrollment,” said Kiggens-Leifheit. “We have more students coming into the district than going out. This year there are 295 students enrolled in, and 137 enrolled out.
“Where are these students coming in coming from? They’re from around the neighboring communities like you would imagine: Abbotsford, Spencer, Granton, Pittsville, Stratford, Wausau. I was surprised to see some from Stevens Point even driving over to go to school. Where are the students that are going out? Where are they going to? Some of those still go to those same surrounding schools: Auburndale, Spencer, Stratford, Pittsville. And when we’ve polled parents in the past and asked them why, what they’ve said is, ‘I work in that other community,’ or, ‘I have day care there for my other children,’ so it is what’s most convenient, and one thing that was mentioned earlier with us now hosting Rural Virtual Academy, we were able to capture 30 students back, so that helps our difference that we were able to widen it a bit this year.”
Kiggens-Leifheit also said that the district’s tax rate and levy are scheduled to be certified on Oct. 25 and that it appeared they would increase.
“What we are expecting to see is a mill rate of about $9.30 to about $9.35, which is about a 16 cent increase from last year,” she said.
“If we look at our referendum, we increased the amount from $2.5 million to $3 million, and that accounts for 25 to 30 cents, so you can see that we had other cost-saving measures that brought that back down for our taxpayers,” Kiggens-Leifheit added.