New referendum set for Colonial School District

By Jim Hilgen 12:01am, March 27, 2013 - Updated 8:50am, March 27, 2013
Interview with Superintendent Linn
Colonial School District is going back to the voters with another request for a tax increase following a failed referendum in February.

Superintendent Dr. Dorothy Linn says the new request will be for an increase of 35 cents per 100 dollars in assessed value.

"We will be trying to maintain status quo. Yes, we will, will there still be some cuts? Probably. Because our bottom line operating was 32 cents to maintain," says Linn.

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Under the new referendum proposal, the operating portion has been reduced to 30 cents, with curriculum getting a penny and four cents going into technology.

Jose Quiles is a Colonial parent who voted in favor of the original 47 cent request.

He has a simple message for other parents.

"Don't look at it as the money that you're spending out of your pocket, look at it as the future that you're providing the kids," Quiles says.

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Superintendent Linn says this next campaign needs to be different.

"We learned a lot from the last referendum in that we need to outreach to the community," Linn says.

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She says there will be changes this time around.

"We are going to make a very concerted effort to get out in the public, to be very visible and answer questions as much as possible and be transparent," she says.

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Colonial parent Melissa Baker says the district has not increased taxes to cover operation expenses in 30 years.

She says this referendum is much-needed.

"The fact is that the cost of living has gone up ridiculously since then, and we haven't put any more money into our schools. It's important, it's critical at this point," says Baker.

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If the referendum doesn't gets the voters' support, the district says it will need to make cuts in staff including some teachers, assistant principals and administrators.

Failing to get this second referendum attempt approved is a thought Superintendent Linn does not wish to face.

"We need to work within the confines of what that means and work within our budgets. Because we can't operate without having a managed budget, so that would mean more cuts I suspect," says Linn.

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Voters return to the polls June 4.

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