Taxpayers in several districts to vote on school referenda

WISH Photo/Howard Monroe

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Voters in several Indiana communities will be going back to the polls Tueday to vote on school referenda.

Many districts go through this process every several years.

“Every level would be impacted significantly if this referendum fails,” said Dr. Nicholas Wahl, the superintendent of Carmel-Clay Schools. “If this replacement referendum fails we would have to cut 260 jobs. That’s across teacher, administrative, and support staff group.”

Dr. Wahl says if it fails they’d have to alter programming, increase class sizes, cut some sports, school-funded clubs and performing arts programs.

To save the programs The district is asking voters to approve an 83 cent tax rate. That rate is the same as taxpayers are paying now. It brings in $14.5 million every year.

Taxpayers voted for the same tax rate in the 2010 referendum.

Meanwhile in Sheridan, taxes would go up by 6 cents on every $100. If approved the tax rate would be a $1.31 per $100.

“We have to be able to offer our kids what the bigger schools around us offer too,” said Dr. David Mundy the superintendent of Sheridan Community Schools.

Dr. Mundy says the district is losing state funding, but says more kids are coming to the district from other parts of Hamilton County.

He also says the district is losing money because the value of farmland is going down.

Mundy says the increase would keep class sizes small, keep their AP classes and help the district’s financial situation.

“We do everything we can to be responsible to them because we all want to see, not just us, the entire community be successful,” said Dr. Mundy

Westfield-Washington Schools is asking voters to approve a construction referendum.

They’re looking to bring in $90 million dollars for the projects. The money would be used to add classrooms and gym space. They are also looking to expand a cafeteria and renovate buildings at the intermediate, middle and high schools.

The district said since 2012 it’s grown by 1,000 students and that they’re expected to grow 1,700 students in the next 5-10 years.

Other schools with budget referenda are Tri-County Schools in White County and West Lafayette Schools.

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