Waterloo SchoolsStudents & StaffWaterloo School District Ballot Question HeaderWaterloo School District Operational Referendum 2022 | Hope to see you at our Informational Meetings| Oct 3rd @ 7:00pm | Oct 24th @ 7:00pm | Both meetings held in high school

The Waterloo School Board voted for an Operating Expense Referendum Question on the November 8, 2022 election ballot. Voters will be asked: Shall the Waterloo School District, Jefferson, Dodge and Dane Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $700,000 per year for the 2022-2023 school year through the 2026-2027 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of sustaining educational programming and operating expenses?

Why does the Waterloo School District Need an Operational Referendum?

The District has a long history of local officials being frugal, fiscally responsible, valuing a low mill rate, and always maintaining a healthy fund balance. The issue we currently face is not one that stems from a local decision, but one that largely centers around variable out of our local control. Those factors we cannot control include the state revenue limit formula and inflation. The District is seeing year-after-year rising operational costs that are impacting all aspects of district operations. This factor, coupled with decreasing revenue, has led to the Waterloo School District's current financial situation.

2018 - 2019

64.09% State Aid
35.91% Propery Tax Levy

The percentage of District revenue from the property tax levy has been decreasing, while overall revenue has also decreased.

2022 - 2023

72.39% State Aid
27.61% Propery Tax Levy
State Aid Projected
Equalization $5,951,677.00 $5,381,775.00
Per Pupil 597,310.00 553,938.00
Special Ed 310,000.00 291,853.00
Common School Fund 35,000.00 34,994.00
Pupil Transportation 10,000.00 15,067.98
Total State Aid Payments $6,903,987.00 $6,277,627.98
2022-2023 2018-2019
Property Tax Levy $2,633,047.00 $3,516,700.00
Total State Aid and Levy $9,537,034.00 $9,794,327.98
Year to Year Comparison -$257,293.98

Increasing Expenses
(2019 to Present)
Electricity Up 54%
Natural Gas Up 174%
Water & Sewer Up 94%

Challenges the Waterloo School District Faces:

  • Decreasing or inadequate state funding
  • Rising inflation impacting all district operations
  • Low population growth rate
  • Fewer young families entering the district
  • Impact of the pandemic (ie: teacher/staffing shortages)

What Will the Referendum Funds Do:

  • Provide ongoing educational and extracurricular programming
  • Address competitive compensation to attract and retain highly qualified staff
  • Address operational needs across all departments
  • Help keep class sizes smaller
  • Offset negative ramifications of state public education funding budget
  • Maintain current level of services

Your Tax Impact:

$100,000 of property value* $95.00 $7.92 $1.83 $0.26
$200,000 of property value* $190.00 $15.83 $3.65 $0.52
$300,000 of property value* $285.00 $23.75 $5.48 $0.78

*Property value is based on tax roll assessment.

  • In most cases, actual appraisal value of your property is greater than tax assessment. Do not use an appraisal value to calculate the amount your taxes will change.
  • You will need to obtain the value from your tax roll assessment, then multiply that amount by a factor of 0.00095 to see your estimated tax impact.
  • Please contact the District Office if you want us to help you calculate this.

** Estimates only. State and local factors affect calculations.

Local Tax Mill Rate (2021)
District Rate
Johnson Creek 11.59
Deerfield Community 10.35
Columbus 9.64
Dodgeland 9.33
Cambridge 9.12
Watertown 8.90
Waterloo 8.86
(Mill rate per thousand)

WSD Implemented Cost Saving Measures to Help Avoid Going to Referendum:

  • Health Insurance: Implemented HDHP, HSA & Employee Wellness
  • Transportation/Busing: Negotiated 5 years of no new increases
  • Dental Insurance: Switched to a self funded dental plan
  • Applied for and awarded more than $200K in grants: Fast Forward, DOJ Threat Assessment, School Based Mental Health Services, Immigrant Children & Youth, Bilingual/Bicultural

WSD Recent Successes:


  • 98.5% graduation rate
  • Over $1M in scholarships awarded in '21-'22
  • Average student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1
  • 18 bilingual staff
  • 1:1 computers District wide
  • US News National Top High School ('20-'22)
  • 100% highly qualified teachers
  • WHS/WMS 'Exceeds Expectations' on DPI District
  • Report Card
  • GOOD - McKinstry Facility assessment rating


  • 8 Advanced Placement class offerings
  • National AP District Honor Roll ('18/'19)
  • Dual credit course offerings at Madison College
  • Youth Apprenticeship Program
  • CNC Milling Training Program
  • Start College Now Program
  • Southern Lakes Advanced Learners Network
  • 59 students with an ACT category score of 25 or greater ('21,'22)
  • 29 students with an ACT composite score of 25 or greater ('19-'22)

Co-Curriculars / Fine Arts

  • Forensics (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FBLA (Local, Regional, State, National Qualifiers)
  • Visual Arts Classic (Local, Regional, State, National Qualifiers)
  • WSMA Solo & Ensemble (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FFA (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FFA Trap Team (WI Clay Target League State Tournament (Local, Regional, State Qualifier)
  • Nat'l Yearbook Program of Excellence Award
  • WI School Music Assoc. State Honors Project Qualifier


  • Volleyball
    • Conference Champions ('18, '19, '21)
    • State Appearance ('19, '20)
  • Football (Level 1 Playoffs, '21)
  • Wrestling
    • Conference Champions ('19, '21, '22)
    • Individual State Qualifiers ('19-'22)
  • Girls Basketball (Regional Champions, '21)
  • Softball (Conference Champions, '22)
  • Track & Field (Indiv. State Qualifiers '19, '21)

Recent Communications:

Referendum Postcard 1 for Website

Referendum Postcard 2 for Website

Helpful Links:

More Information:

If you have further questions, please connect with the Waterloo School District Office at (920) 478-3633, ext. 4501

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