About the Referendum

Our District takes pride in providing exceptional educational programs, shaping students for a successful future. The proposed funding from the operational referendum will play a crucial role in several key areas:

  • Ensure that essential student programs and services continue to thrive

  • Attract and retain high-quality teachers and staff

  • Maintain smaller class sizes to offer personalized attention to each student

  • Address building safety measures and routine maintenance requirements

  • Keep pace with technology needs

This operating referendum is also vital to sustaining and expanding enhanced opportunities, including:

  • Construction, Welding, and Nursing Academies in collaboration with CVTC

  • Science-based Curriculum and Robotics Club

  • Youth Apprenticeships and College Readiness Skills

  • Summer School Programs

  • Extra-Curricular and Athletic Programs

Routine Maintenance and Building Safety/Security Projects

In the winter of 2023, an audit assessed the facilities within the Osseo-Fairchild School District identifying problems, proposing solutions, and estimating costs. Preliminary findings revealed nearly $2 million in maintenance needs.

The proposed referendum allocates $1 million over the next four years to help address the following issues:

  • Construct secure entrances in the elementary and middle/high schools

  • Install additional security cameras

  • Enhance exterior lighting in parking lots

  • Install roof access and guard rails at each school

  • Upgrade exterior door hardware at the elementary school

  • Replace water heaters and HVAC equipment in the middle/high school

  • Implement basement chemical storage exhaust at the middle/high school

  • Update the greenhouse at the middle/high school

  • Address interior and exterior masonry in the community gym at the middle/high school

  • Undertake sidewalk improvements

  • Remodel the bathroom and replace fuel pumps at the bus garage

The District secured a $500,000 federal safety grant to help with the costs of exterior lighting, fencing and security cameras.

Estimated Tax Impact

The District has been fiscally responsible in school spending. However, due to the state budget not keeping pace with inflation and federally mandated programs, the District must continue to pursue operational referendums.

The District's mill rate is currently the lowest it has been in the last decade, as illustrated in the chart below. If the referendum passes, the average estimated increase would be $1.50/month or $18/year per $100,000 of property value over the four-year referendum.


OF Mill Rate History

Voting Information:

Date and Polling Place Hours:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Visit MyVoteWI.gov to find your polling place.
o   City of Osseo – 13712 8th Street Osseo, WI
o   Village of Fairchild – Fairchild Community Center - 121 Farmer St. Fairchild, WI`
o   Town of Hale – N42111 County Road O Pleasantville, WI
o   Town of Sumner – 14350 5th Street Osseo, WI
o   Town of Unity – N48354 County Road D Strum, WI
o   Town of Otter Creek – E15425 County Road HH Osseo, WI
o   Town of Clear Creek – S12455 North Raven Drive Strum, WI
o   Town of Bridge Creek – S9515 State Road 27 Augusta, WI
o   Town of Fairchild – E25215 County Road RR Fairchild, WI
o   Town of Garfield – N12915 West Hillcrest Road Osseo, WI
o   Town of Cleveland – Fairchild Fire Station – 200 N. Townline Rd. Fairchild, WI
o   Town of Northfield – N10752 School House Avenue Northfield, WI
o   Town of Mentor – N3049 King Street Humbird, WI
o   Town of Foster – Rock Dam Rod & Gun Club – 8561 Hay Creek Rd. Willard, WI

Absentee Voting:
o   Visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/Vote-Absentee-By-Mail or contact your municipality to learn more



  • REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING OPERATING REFERENDUM: The District is in our eighth year of depending on operating
    referendums to help cover overall costs. The District passed a successful referendum in 2020 for operating costs that ends this
    year. The proposed operational referendum would replace that, resulting in a minimal tax increase for residents.

  • LACK OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDING: Ongoing per-pupil funding has seen limited increases. Due to the state budget not keeping pace with inflation and federally mandated programs, the District must continue to pursue operational referendums.

  • BUILDING SAFETY AND ROUTINE MAINTENANCE NEEDS: This referendum includes $1 million to help address these needs.

  • A COMPETITIVE MARKET: It is crucial to stay competitive to retain and attract the best educators and staff.

  • ADDITIONAL FUNDING NEEDED FOR FEDERALLY MANDATED PROGRAMS:  School districts are federally mandated to provide Special Education Programs.  While these services are essential to our students’ development, there is not enough federal and state funding to cover the costs of these programs.  This year, the district will be transferring approximately $1.3 million from the General Fund to address the additional costs of the Special Education Services. This allocation has a direct impact on the available funds for covering other operating costs within the district.


Shall the Osseo-Fairchild School District, Trempealeau, Jackson, Eau Claire and Clark Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $1,600,000 for the 2024-2025 school year, by $2,000,000 for the 2025-2026 school year, by $2,400,000 for the 2026-2027 school year and by $2,800,000 for the 2027-2028 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational, capital maintenance and facility improvement expenses?


A non-recurring referendum, by definition, operates within a specific time frame outlined in the referendum resolution. In our case, the non-recurring referendum would begin in 2024-2025 and conclude in 2027-2028. In contrast, a recurring referendum, if passed, has no end date.


If the operational referendum is approved on April 2, 2024, the student programs, services, courses, athletics, extra-curricular activities, and resources remain intact.  The school district gains the ability to surpass the state-imposed revenue limit, starting from the 2024-2025 school year. The impact on local taxes will vary based on state aid and assessed property values, with an estimated average increase of $1.50/month or $18/year per $100,000 of property value over the four-year period.


A "NO" vote implies that the district would need to implement reductions across various areas due to insufficient funding for operating expenses, including:

  • Summer School

  • Field Trips

  • Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Technology Upgrades

  • Addressing Building Safety and Routine Maintenance

  • Course Offerings

  • Increased Class Sizes

  • Risk of Losing Staff to Other Districts

Rejecting the referendum means $1.6 million in cuts are needed, which also reduces state funding, resulting in higher local taxes next year. This decreased state aid is redirected to other districts, leaving less for our children and community.