school referenda

I voted sticker
(Jessica Whittle Photography/Flickr)

  School districts across the state are once again asking voters to help fund public schools, with nine districts asking for property tax increases Tuesday.

School districts can ask voters through a ballot referenda process to raise property taxes to help fund their schools. Basically, the ballot question asks voters to pay more in property taxes so the schools have more funding.

Rachel Morello / Indiana Public Broadcasting

After a school referendum failed last week, Gary Community Schools is asking the state legislature for help as it struggles with ongoing financial problems.  

The school referendum was posed after years of financial struggle and failed by only 300 votes. The district sent a letter to staff Friday, saying it wouldn’t make payroll on time.

This is the district’s second referenda to counter decreasing enrollment in recent years. Both have now failed.

When students leave a district, state money goes with them, and Gary schools struggle to maintain staff and buildings.

Nathan Gibbs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathangibbs/

School districts around the state, including Clinton Central, are posing nine different referenda on ballots.

These ballot measures are becoming an important part of school funding.

School referenda became a common practice after 2008, when the legislature put caps on the amount of property taxes that could be collected.

Because property taxes were a huge revenue stream for school districts, many schools were put in a tough place financially.

Jeff Weese / www.flickr.com/photos/jeffweese/4125904945

Leaders of a small northern Indiana school district say the battle to fund their school system isn’t over.

Argos Community School administrators say they will continue to push for a local property tax increase even though voters defeated a proposed tax hike on the May 3 ballot.

The district has laid off eight staff members, eliminated a science program and scaled back the number of cafeteria workers.

Jashin Lin / WTIU News

As the May 3 Indiana primary approaches, ten school districts across the state are asking voters to raise taxes to fund school projects.

In November 2008, Indiana’s public school districts began posing more and more school funding questions to their communities on the ballot – should taxes be raised to fund a certain construction project or boost the district’s general fund? If a referendum passes, the property taxes increase by a specified amount for a specific period of time. They were rare before the property tax cap. Since November 2008, there have been 128.