Michael Ford: Should School Referenda be Limited?

Michael R. Ford, Ph. D., Assistant Professor in Public Administration at UW-Oshkosh, wrote a blog post on the subject of limiting school district referenda,  which is currently being debated in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Should School Referenda be Limited?

I say no. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards has a nice summary of proposed legislation that would restrict the ability of school districts to go directly to the voters for permission to exceed state imposed revenue caps. As I detailed last summer, Wisconsin is experiencing an uptick in both the number and success of school district referenda. The likely reason is the fiscal stress facing many Wisconsin school districts. The move to restrict referenda is a backlash to the willingness of school districts to go repeatedly to their voters to ask for more revenue.  Click here to read the rest of his post.

The former director of research for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) and for a school choice advocacy group,  Dr. Ford has more recently focused his research on how school boards impact student achievement through the degree to which board members share a common definition and view of accountability.  Dr. Ford has twice been a guest speaker at the annual fall WASB Legislative Advocacy Conference.