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As I See It

One La Crosse high school could be a tough sell

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According to the headlines, people support changes in the operation of La Crosse’s schools. The district recently surveyed residents to ask them about the district’s plan to buy a building and use it to house what are now two separate high schools. But sometimes you need to look behind the headlines. The district is likely encouraged by the results of the survey as it considers putting a $194 million plan to referendum. The School Board shared the results of the survey, putting a positive spin on the results. After all, the survey finds 71% of respondents favor a plan to “right-size” the district. But keep in mind only about 16% of people asked their opinion bothered to provide them. The results may be different if people voted in a referendum. A closer look reveals that on the issue of consolidating high schools, barely half, 56%, support consolidating the high schools into one campus. And on the issue of whether the schools should be combined into one, or maintained as separate schools sharing a building, the results are even lower. Only 42% of those surveyed think the two schools should operate as one. That is hardly a slam dunk and shows the district may have to work to convince people a shared high school is a good idea. There is no question La Crosse’s school buildings are aging, and enrollment is dropping, but the idea of combining high schools into one building may prove to be a tough sell.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nick

    June 7, 2022 at 8:10 am

    It most likely will be a tough sell. I have lived in various parts of the country and have seen this play out in the past.
    Financially in the long run it makes sense but emotions win out a lot of times.
    It would prove financially draining in the long run to keep the status quo.
    I have no skin in this game and am for consolidation.
    I see no reason why LaCrosse will start being a place where young families will come. The housing stock overall is too many small homes.

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