School District of La Crosse survey finds majority in favor of consolidation

79 percent say they support reducing the number of middle schools from three to two.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A La Crosse School survey finds support for consolidation.

This fall the district sent a survey asking parents, staff, and community members how to deal with declining enrollment and budget challenges. Here’s what the survey found:

71% of respondents say they support downsizing to reduce operating costs.
79% say they support reducing the number of middle schools from three to two.
70% say they support reducing the number of elementary schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         55% support consolidating La Crosse’s two high schools into one.
That’s according to the results released Monday, December 6th.

The school district only got responses from 4,664, or 16.4% of the people asked to fill out the survey. The firm that put together the results says that’s a good sample size. “Is this representative? Is this predictive? And the answer is yes. If you went from 4,600 to double that, from a statistical standpoint I would wager that you move more than 1% one way or another, ” says Bill Foster, President of School Perceptions.

The district will use the initial survey results to finalize a long-range facilities plan. Once complete, the district will provide a second survey this spring.

A statement from Superintendent Aaron Engel reads in part “Our community understands the challenges we are facing with declining enrollment and aging buildings and has given us a clear sign to keep exploring all options to right-size our school district facilities.”