Voters to decide on school referendums

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As Indiana voters head to the polls to cast the ballot for who they want to be their nominee for President of the United States, many Hoosiers will also make a critical decision when it comes to education. They will vote on school district referendums.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools is looking to more than double its current rate. The school district’s current referendum rate is $0.1000. It’s looking to increase it’s rate by $0.1275, which if approved will have property owners paying $0.2275 per $100 of assessed home value. The district explained the following in a presentation:

  • Home Value $100,000 = additional $41.76 / year
  • Home Value $250,000 = additional $166.07 / year
  • Home Value $500,000 = additional $373.26 / year

Hamilton Southeastern Schools posted on its website the rate hike would allow the district to “reduce class sizes, attract and retain quality teachers, and prepare students for global competition”.

The Noblesville school district is proposing to lower it’s current referendum rate by 10.5 percent. If approved by voters, the rate would drop from the district’s $0.2115 to $0.189 per $100 of assessed value. The district’s website said the referendum money is needed to:

  • Maintain academic programming
  • Maintain staff
  • Support staff compensation
  • Maintain class sizes
  • Maintain high property values
  • Attract and retain businesses in Noblesville

Noblesville Schools said the district would lose $6 million per year if the referendum is not approved, and that would result in letting go 10 percent of staff (150 positions). The schools district said the denial will also mean:

  • Increased class sizes
  • Eliminated/lengthened bus routes
  • Reduced/eliminated academic programming (STEM, media services, performing and visual arts, physical education and electives)
  • Reduced in-classroom learning support
  • Reduced behavioral support services
  • Reduced facility cleaning and maintenance
  • As the largest employer in Noblesville, significant economic impact to community

Schools in the Town of Speedway is proposing to continue its current tax rate at $0.59 per $100 of assessed value. The district said if voters don’t approve to continue the referendum then in the next seven years schools may be consolidated, which would mean larger class sizes.

Brown County Schools is proposing a tax referendum of $0.08 per $100 of assessed value.

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