ONALASKA — Residents in the Onalaska school district will vote on a $4.3 million referendum on the Feb. 15 ballot. 

The Onalaska School Board earlier this week directed administrators to prepare a referendum, which will be reviewed at the board’s Nov. 22 meeting. Attorneys and the district’s bond counsel will craft the question.

Voters will be asked whether they support the school district exceeding its state-mandated revenue limit by $1.1 million in 2011, $1.4 million in 2012 and $1.7 million in 2013 to maintain the present level of student programs and services.

It is similar to a referendum voters approved in 2005 that allowed the district to spend $500,000 over the limit in each of the past five years.

Board members said they are eager to let the community weigh in.

“I don’t want to see us go backward,” board President Mark Cassellius said. “It would be a mistake not to give an opportunity to the community to make a yea or nay.”

A recent community survey showed public support for additional money. More than half of respondents — 57 percent — said they would support a referendum.

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