Reporting the Upcoming Referendum and Associated Results to DPI
Information for reporting the results of the 2024 election day(s) will be updated as circumstances warrant.
Referenda (operations or to issue debt) Limitations to Exceed Revenue Limits: 2017 Act 59 (2017-19 Biennial Budget) limits a school board to approving no more than two board resolutions authorizing referendums (operations or to issue debt) to exceed a district’s state imposed revenue limit per calendar year. In addition--with one exception--the two referendums/ballot questions can only be held on the regularly scheduled spring or fall election days.
The exception is if a school district has experienced a natural disaster, it may hold a special referendum within the six-month period following the natural disaster but no sooner than 70 days after the adoption of the resolution (not to be subject to the scheduling restrictions described above).In other words, these new limitations--which began on January 1, 2018--apply to both, the timing of the vote on the questions to be the regularly scheduled Spring and Fall election days (exception for a natural disaster) and the limiting of school boards to approving up to two referendums/ballot questions per calendar year.
Upcoming 2024 Scheduled Election Days
The 2024 regularly scheduled election days are:
Spring Primary – February 20, 2024
Spring Election – April 2, 2024
August Primary - August 13, 2024
November General Election - November 5, 2024
Two Resolution per Year Limit
These limitations on the ability of a school board to ask voters to exceed state imposed revenue limits prohibit a board from passing more than two resolutions per calendar year. A resolution (for operations or to issue debt) results in a referendum/ballot question that the voter is asked to approve or deny. If you have questions about these new limitations on school referenda, please contact Roger Kordus at 608-267-3752 or email@example.com.
Referenda and the Low Revenue Ceiling
The Low Revenue Ceiling threshold stands at $10,000 per pupil due to provisions passed in 2019 Act 9, the 2019-21 state biennial budget. The biennial budget increased the per pupil Low Revenue Ceiling from $9,400 in FY19 to $9,700 in FY20 and to $10,000 in FY21 and onward. Previously, 2017 Wisconsin Act 141 increased the low revenue ceiling per member but made the increase contingent on several stipulations:
- If a district held a failed operating referendum (recurring or nonrecurring) during 2015-16, 2016-17, or 2017-18, the per pupil Low Revenue Ceiling was $9,100 for the three years following the failed referendum. If the district subsequently passed an operating referendum during 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, or 2018-19, the higher ceiling amounts applied.
- If a district holds a failed operating referendum (recurring or nonrecurring) during 2018-19 or after, for three years following the school year during which the failed referendum was held, the Low Revenue Ceiling amount is the amount from the year in which the referendum failed. If the district subsequently passes an operating referendum, the three-year freeze of the Low Revenue Ceiling is removed, effective the year after passage of the referendum.
Unless the Low Revenue Ceiling is increased by a state law change, the provisions of Act 141 have minimal impact moving forward. Districts that held failed operating referenda in FY21, FY22, and FY23 are still eligible for the $10,000 per pupil Low Revenue Ceiling.
Districts that failed to pass an operating referendum are still eligible for the per member increases on line 4A of the revenue limit worksheet. Under current law, the per member revenue limit increase is $0.
This section will be updated once the biennial budget is signed.
DPI Notification Logistics
Notification to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) of upcoming referendum elections is performed via the Internet through the DPI School Finance Reporting Portal. The district's ID and password is required and the security access required is only for authorized users of the PI-1505 Annual Report. To notify DPI of an upcoming referendum or its results:
- Select your district on the next page
- Click on "Financial Data Home"
- Click on "Referenda"
- Click on "Add a New Referendum" to report an upcoming election. This will require your district ID and password.
- For Recurring Referenda, Non-Recurring Referenda and Referenda for Debt Issue, send a copy of the signed initial resolution, the referendum question and the official referendum ballot question(s) or the upcoming public election to Roger Kordus.
- To modify a previously-reported referendum, click on the "Referendum ID". This will also require your district ID and password.
- Click on "Custom Referenda Reports" to generate reports