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.”

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