With the future of school funding still up in the air at the Capitol some local districts are making sure they're prepared for changes that could have them competing for state money and students.
Tuesday's ground breaking at Todd Elementary School is one of nine projects the Beloit School District will be working on this summer.
"We are so proud of what we're doing above and beyond the new buildings,” says Superintendent Steve McNeal.
McNeal says approval of a $70 million referendum is evidence families in the district still have confidence in their public schools.
"We're a state model in RTI, the Response to Intervention, we're a state model in how we coach our teachers, we have shown tremendous gains academically so we're very proud and we'll compare to anybody," says McNeal.
The redevelopment is in part to compete with possible changes in state funding, McNeal says.
For nearly 30 years, Rock County Christian School has been offering pre-K through high school students an education from a biblical perspective.
"We are not in competition with the Beloit public schools or the Clinton public schools. We are offering an alternative form of education for families that are looking for this type of education for their children," says Tim Befus, the school's administrator.
Their 175 students are housed at two campuses, one in Janesville and one in Beloit, Befus says. Class sizes range from 8 to 15 students.
Befus says families in the area are looking for an alternative.
"We're not a fly-by-night school. We're very well established. We have teachers who've been teaching here for over 20 years and they all are certified teachers at our school," says Befus.
The school's tuition is just under $5,000 a year and he says it hosts fundraisers and offers financial aid to help offset the cost to needy families, Befus says. It will remain a small school but the additional state aid from a voucher program would allow it to increase its enrollment 25 to 30 students.
Enrollment is up in Beloit and they've gained about 100 students each year for the last two years, McNeal says. Beloit’s academic gains and amenities will be enough to help them keep their classrooms filled if school vouchers become a reality.
"It'll be hard for a voucher school to offer what we offer as a district, being the one on one iPads, the intervention models we have, academic things like 22 AP classes at our high school, our career tech program," McNeal says.
Most construction in Beloit should be completed a year from next fall--- at the start of the 2014 school year.
Befus says Rock County Christian School leaders have already begun looking into becoming a voucher school in the event they are approved.