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Second schools referendum likely in Hillsboro
Town hall set for Nov. 24; plans underway for Feb. 17 vote
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Residents of the Hillsboro School District have not heard the last word on the subject of funding, regardless of last week’s defeat of a major referendum.

At a special School Board meeting attended by about two dozen interested spectators Monday night, it was apparent that a second referendum is more than likely.

Board member Mike Jirschele warmed up the crowd early in the meeting when he outlined the positive aspects of the first referendum results.

He pointed out that it lost by a total of only 124 votes out of 1,338 cast for Question 1 and 109 votes out of 1,321  cast for Question 2. Some small changes could easily close that gap.

That opened up a lengthy discussion on the possibility of a second referendum after some time to weigh the consequences of balancing the budget under the direction of the voters’ first choice.

Following the official agenda, Board President Jenny Hynek moved the meeting into the discussion/action section of the meeting with a motion to cut the following high school coaching positions: girls’ and boys’ basketball C-squad,  and assistant coaches in wrestling, baseball, softball and track. The motion carried unanimously.

Jirschele moved to discontinue all funding of class/club trips for the elementary, junior high and high schools. The motion carried unanimously.

Following a discussion on drivers’ education fees, Jenni Schrock made a motion to table the item until the December meeting. The motion carried unanimously.

After a discussion on changes in the building hours policy, Jan Levy made a motion to set the next meeting date for Nov. 19, at 6 p.m.

Also, a motion to schedule  a public referendum town hall meeting for Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the High School cafeteria passed unanimously.

Following a closed session, Schrock motioned to discontinue band/choir relief for the spring. The motion was unanimously adopted.

At this point, the School Board is in preliminary planning to go back to a referendum on Feb. 17.

After the meeting, Superintendent Curt Bisarek issued the following statement for Hillsboro School District residents:

“Please be aware that the decisions reported above were very difficult despite the fact that they were all approved without dissent. With the failure of the referendum, we are trying to work through a projected deficit of $150,000 for this school year. Future meetings will look at other options for increasing revenue or reducing expenses …none of which are easy.

“The Feb. 17 referendum is vital. Without success, we are looking at a possible $470,000 deficit for next year.”