WHAT IS LONG-RANGE FACILITY PLANNING?
Long-range facility planning is a process used to make informed decisions regarding current and future facilities and sites. Planning is supported by:
• Analyzing current facility conditions
• Understanding objectives and guiding principles
• Engaging diverse stakeholder groups to understand values and priorities
• Developing creative and fiscally responsible facilities solutions
Each potential component identified within a long-range facility plan may not become an immediate reality. The goal is to establish a clear vision for facilities as the foundation for fiscally responsible decision-making today and in the future.
WHAT IS A FACILITIES CONDITION ASSESSMENT?
A facilities condition assessment is an independent, objective analysis of building and site conditions and an evaluation of the capabilities of the facilities to meet educational and community goals. The facilities condition assessment is often a critical first step in the planning process, helping the district better understand areas of need and deficiency. The document may inform plans for ongoing maintenance and as a foundation for future master planning or building projects.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OPERATIONAL AND FACILITIES REFERENDUM?
There are two types of referenda school districts use to obtain additional funding: operational and capital (facilities). A facilities referendum allows a district to issue debt (take out a loan) to pay for major facility projects. Much like a home mortgage, a facilities referendum is typically financed over an extended period, often 20 years. An operating referendum is used to support daily operations and help maintain current programs and services. For many communities, an operating referendum offers a solution to manage funding gaps while keeping 100% of referendum tax dollars in the district and aligned with community expectations for their local schools.
WHAT IS A MILL RATE?
School district property taxes include levies for general operations, debt service, capital expansion and community services. Property values are equalized to reflect market value rather than local assessed value. The equalized levy rate is the total property tax levy divided by the current year equalized property value with tax incremental financing (TIF) values excluded. Levy rates are shown in "mills" or property tax dollars levied per $1,000 of equalized property value. [Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction]