After a 30-minute discussion that included some audience participation, Sturtevant trustees Thursday unanimously approved adding a question to the April ballot about exploring an independent school district.
Board member John Johnson was the only official to voice any objection, and his concern was primarily about timing.
“I just wonder if we’re being premature because there’s no way Sturtevant can go this alone like we did 50 years ago,” he said. “I think maybe we should wait to see if Mount Pleasant is going forward before we do.”
But Trustee Chris Larsen perhaps summed it up best when he pointed it out that every community east of I-94 and outside the City of Racine are interested in exploring independent school districts.
“Other than when the effort to consolidate dispatch was underway, this is the only other time communities are on the same page,” he said. “This is our chance, and this is our time.”
Village Administrator/Clerk Mary Cole said Kurt Wahlen, admninistrator in Mount Pleasant, told her his village board is not actively pursuing taking similar action at this time.
Voters on April 7 will see the referendum question written like Caledonia’s question, with the only change being the name of the village:
“Should Sturtevant pursue a separate school district, independent of the Racine Unified School District, whose boundaries include the entire Village of Sturtevant?”
Additionally, there will be an explanation so residents fully understand what their vote means:
The outcome of the vote is strictly advisory. Neither a majority “yes” vote nor a majority “no” vote would be binding on the Village Board either way. Additionally, the question asks only whether the Village should further investigate the possibility of creating a new school district. You are not being asked, at this point in time, whether you support the Village actually creating a new school district.
That being said, a “yes” vote indicates that you think the Village Board should explore the feasibility of creating a new school district to serve Village residents.
A “no” vote indicates that you do not think the Village Board should take any steps to explore the feasibility of creating a new school district to serve Village residents.