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Closet classrooms: Milton schools ask for parent input to relieve overcrowding issue

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MILTON, Wis. - Overcrowding at Milton High School has reached a high point. The school, which administrators say can serve about 900 students, now has nearly 1150 enrolled.

With so many students and so little space, the school has been forced to find new places to hold class.

"We've used former closets," says district superintendent Dr. Tim Schigur. "Spaces have been repurposed into learning environments that were never designed for that."

Overcrowding issues haven't been limited to the high school, however. In a city with fewer than 6000 residents, there are currently close to 3500 students enrolled in public school. Schigur says this is a result of the large district boundaries.

"Our community and school district serve nine municipalities," Schigur said. "We have a lot of kids and a big space to bring those kids from."

Two referendums to correct this overcrowding have failed, however, after concerns of rising taxes.

Parents of students say they want what's best for their children.

"I want them to have the best environment to learn," said Karen Follis. "The environment in which you work and play is important to all of us."

Follis, who has two children in the district, says she was impressed with the school's decision to listen to parent input in an event on Wednesday night.

"I do believe they're taking into consideration what's best for students, teachers and parents alike," said Follis.

Schigur says there could be a third referendum to improve facilities as soon as April.

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