Education Watch: La Crosse school board, superintendent clash over cost-saving consolidation plan

Aug 12, 2022 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

From the La Crosse Tribune: “The School District of La Crosse will hold one of the largest referendums in state history this fall, asking voters to approve funding to consolidate its two high schools [and put both in a new building]. …The district’s three middle schools would be moved into the two vacant high school buildings, and the former middle school buildings would be repurposed.”

Photo: La Crosse Tribune

Conflict over this plan, satisfactory alternatives, and the relatively small power of school board members led one member to resign in protest, calling it “a dictatorship.” Read more here.
Additional context from IRG Senior Research Director Quinton Klabon:
  • The governor has failed to steward education funds wisely, inflaming enrollment disputes like these. To aid the legislature, he should have districts report how efficient schools are: current enrollment against building capacity. Full schools use money more effectively, lessen teacher shortages, and prevent unneeded referenda.


  • Mr. Abraham is part of a troubling trend: new board members are isolated until they resign or unprepared and easily absorbed. Though a group exists to answer procedural questions, there is an opportunity for a reform-minded nonprofit to equip new members for results-oriented change.