Dear editor, 

I am a parent of students in the Wausau School District. I want to respond to remarks made at the Feb. 27 Wausau School Board meeting. Superintendent Dr. Hilts said, “People do not have the time to understand all the complexities that go into a decision like this.” Translation: The general public is too busy and ignorant, so we shouldn’t be allowed input on this decision that will affect our students, teachers, staff and families for years to come. This is appalling, insulting and unacceptable. 

The public deserve to have their voices heard. We need a true measure of whether or not people support the restructure of the district. The surveys didn’t reach enough people and didn’t ask the right questions. People also didn’t have the context and details of the restructuring plan at the time of the surveys. We need an advisory referendum. 

Throughout the restructuring process I have lost trust and I know I’m not alone. The 2022 referendum was passed with the understanding that schools wouldn’t be closed/merged. To just go ahead after that is disingenuous at best. This is not what we voted for. After this it would be difficult to vote in favor of any subsequent referendum. 

We need to regain our trust. We need transparency and accountability. We need to know we are valued as members of this community and stakeholders in the district. The first step is gauging the public’s support for restructuring through an advisory referendum.

Laura Beltz of Wausau

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.