Blackhawk Technical College: Seeks community input

Contact: Gary Kohn (608) 757-7769 or cell (608) 436-9578

[email protected]

JANESVILLE, WI – Blackhawk Technical College recently mailed a survey to 8,000 registered voters in Green and Rock counties that will help BTC officials and the BTC District Board decide whether or not to seek a referendum in the 2014 spring election that would raise $4 million in operational funds for the school.

Blackhawk says that because of reduced state aid, state revenue caps in place since 2010 and current cost projections, a shortfall of approximately $3.5 million is predicted for its 2014-2015 budget.

Dr. Thomas Eckert, president of Blackhawk, encourages recipients of the survey to complete it by Dec.16 so that its results may be publicly discussed at a District Board meeting Dec. 19. Action on a referendum would not occur until the January board meeting. The spring election will be held April 1.

“BTC is committed to meeting the needs of our students and addressing the priorities of our communities,’’ Dr. Eckert said in a cover letter to the survey recipients. “We ask that you take a few minutes to give us your feedback through this short survey.’’

A recent legislative change now permits technical colleges to seek funding support from their district communities through an operational referendum.

The BTC Foundation recently hired School Perceptions LLC to conduct the surveys and assist in data gathering. School Perceptions is based in Slinger, WI, and is recognized for its expertise in gathering information that aids education institutions and their policy boards in their public policy pursuits.

The BTC Foundation is a tax exempt, nonprofit organization that receives holds and disburses funds for the betterment of BTC and it students. No public money will be used to cover the costs of the survey.

Those who received the survey may complete it online by following survey directions. If the recipient does not have computer access, BTC asks that the completed survey be mailed to School Perceptions, 319 E. Washington St., Slinger, WI, 53086.

The survey notes that since 2010, Blackhawk has reduced annual operating expenses by more than $2.3 million.