school referenda

Four of the 10 school districts with measures on the ballot failed to receive voter approval for school funding tax increases Tuesday night.

The Carmel Clay School Board is one of the first in the state to send a referendum for school safety funding to the November ballot. The law allowing districts to fund school safety measures with voter-approved tax dollars was passed during the last legislative session.

The Carmel Clay referendum aims to bring in an estimated $5 million a year for three years. The money would fund school resource officers, teacher and staff training and mental health services for students.

Superintendent Michael Beresford says Carmel needs these additional layers of safety.

Six out of the 10 school funding referenda measures across the state won approval from local voters, with two out of the four school districts asking for additional funding from their communities for the first time passing.

This year’s first round of school funding referenda includes 10 school corporations, with a handful of the schools asking voters for more funding for the first time.

A proposal moving forward at the statehouse would allow school districts to ask voters for a property tax increase specifically to pay for school safety projects.

Lawmakers backed off a proposal Monday that would have forced school districts to share referendum dollars with nearby charter schools.

This week, lawmakers renew a gun debate. A House panel advances electric scooter regulations. And Republicans block an expansion of absentee voting. 

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Voters Approve Most School Funding Referenda Statewide

Nov 7, 2018

Most school corporations across the state with funding referenda on the ballot won approval from voters Tuesday night; only three school corporations’ measures failed.

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.

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