MILWAUKEE (AP) -

A growing number of Wisconsin school districts are asking to raise taxes to cover salaries, utilities and other basic costs, and voters are approving their requests at record rates.

Voters approved 23 of the 35 referenda Wisconsin school districts placed on April 1 ballots to raise money for operating costs. They also approved 15 of 21 proposals to borrow for construction, technology and other improvements.

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says the approval rates were much higher than the state has seen in previous elections.

Dan Domenech is executive director of the School Superintendents Association. He says the trend in Wisconsin mirrors that nationwide following the recession.

He says school leaders are seeking referenda to offset cuts in state spending but it "deepens the divide between the haves and the have-nots."