A new elementary school, school safety projects and money to raise teacher pay were some of proposals voters saw – and rejected – on ballots around the state this week.
As more districts take property tax hikes to voters, the formula for passing school referendums in Indiana may be faltering. Two election cycles of lower-than-expected pass rates have one economist wondering if it’s just a blip or a new trend, as the number of districts that can get a referendum passed starts to plateau.
“It’s low, especially for a May election,” said Larry DeBoer an economist at Purdue University who studies government public policy and keeps a close watch on school referendums. “It’s the smallest percentage of winners in a May election since May 2011.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Next month schools will once again ask you to approve money requests on your May ballot.
As we saw in last year’s elections, passing school referendums can be a hotly contested issue. But when it came down to it, voters mostly backed the schools.
What was promised to voters in many referendums was to better pay teachers and increased security inside their buildings. RTV6 followed up with several districts that asked for millions of dollars from taxpayers to see if they’ve accomplished what they said they would
Northwest Allen County Schools continues to check off boxes as it works to place a $34 million referendum for a new elementary school and other improvements on the May ballot.
Community members are also stepping up to help with the referendum efforts.
The 7,500-student district wants to build an elementary school to accommodate growth. It has gained about 500 elementary students since 2009-10 and expects to add nearly 350 more by 2022-23, a recent demographic study found.
Voters in three Hamilton County cities passed public school referendums to pay for building expansion in Westfield and teachers and programs in Carmel and Sheridan.
Only 10 of the more than 300 districts in Indiana asked voters to approve a raise in property taxes to benefit the schools during this special election. Three of them — Carmel Clay, Westfield-Washington and Sheridan Community Schools — are in Hamilton County. The area has a precedent for supporting referendums.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State-appointed emergency managers would take control of financially troubled school districts in Gary and Muncie under a bill advancing in the Indiana Legislature, which creates a blueprint that could be used to take over other distressed districts in the future.
Financial problems with both districts have been well documented, though officials for Muncie Community Schools joined lawmakers from the area to plead unsuccessfully for a reprieve during a Monday hearing.
The School City of East Chicago will join the School Town of Munster this May in asking voters to pay higher taxes to fund those respective school districts.
East Chicago is asking voters for additional money to boost its operating fund. Munster is asking for two referendums — a general fund referendum to assist the operating budget and a construction referendum to renovate school buildings.