The La Crosse School Board passed two potential district budgets for this year.
Only one of them will take effect, depending on whether the $194.7 million referendum to build a new high school passes or fails Nov. 8.
If the referendum to build on the Trane Company property is approved, the tax levy for the year will be $60 million. The levy will be $46 million if the referendum fails. District spending in either case would be around $100 million for the year.
The November ballot question calls for $194.7 million remodel, moving three middle schools into what is now Central and Logan high schools. Declining enrollment and an over abundance of aging buildings are partly the reasoning behind the plan.
The district’s business services director, Patty Sprang, said during the meeting Monday enrollment in the district has dropped below 6,000, which was a bigger decline than expected.
Sprang predicted a drop of only 45 students from last year’s total of 6,116, but instead, enrollment fell by 156 students — down to 5,960 in mid-September. The enrollment had been above 7,000, as recently as 2010.
A budget had to be passed by the school board before a Nov. 1 deadline.