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School Funding Referenda Elections Are Next Week. Here’s What They Look Like

By Jeanie Lindsay, IPB News | Published on in Education, Government, Statewide News
(Tyler Lake/WTIU)
(Tyler Lake/WTIU)

Next Tuesday, school districts across the state will ask voters to approve taxes to send more dollars to their public schools.

Thirteen different referendum measures are on the ballot next week, and that list is split almost in half for construction-focused funding, and general operating measures.

Some of those are from school districts asking for both construction money and operating funds at the same time: Zionsville, Huntington, and Danville Community Schools. In Zionsville, the operating referendum will repeal and replace a former tax levy at the same rate.

One school district, Carmel Clay Schools, will propose a referendum tax for school safety. It’s the first school safety referendum in Indiana after lawmakers created the option earlier this year.

State filings from the districts for the proposals list similar reasons for school tax levies. Those include finding and keeping teachers, funding various school programs, renovating buildings, and enhancing school safety.

Most school districts in the state have yet to propose or pass any referendum measure, but half of the districts asking for referendum-approved dollars next week are doing it for the first time.

Construction

Danville Community Schools, Hendricks County
Property tax rate: $0.6845 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $53 million
For: Renovations for existing school facilities, including Danville Community High School, Danville Community Middle School, North Elementary School and South Elementary School

Huntington County Community Schools, Huntington County
Property tax rate: $0.3381 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $68.48 million
For: Renovations for Huntington North High School

MSD Lawrence Township, Marion County
Property tax rate: $0.2499 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $191 million
For: Renovations for two high schools, four elementary schools and four early learning centers

Scott County School District Number 1, Scott County
Property tax rate: $0.9085 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $20 million
For: Construction of a new elementary school building and repurposing the high school’s former swimming pool into a multi-purpose room

Washington Community Schools, Daviess County
Property tax rate: $0.4829 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $38 million
For: 2020 Safety & Security Construction Project, which includes a new middle school building as well as safety and security improvements to existing school facilities throughout the district

Zionsville Community Schools, Boone County
Property tax rate: $0.2580 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $89 million
For: 2019-2023 ZCS District-Wide Facility Projects, which includes the construction of a new elementary school and renovation of many existing buildings

Operations Levy

Center Grove Community School Corporation, Marion County
Property tax rate: $0.1150 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: School safety and mental health and classroom supports for students

Danville Community School Corporation, Hendricks County
Property tax rate: $0.20 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: Transportation funding, teacher retention, class sizes, academic programs and school safety improvement

Hamilton Community School Corporation, DeKalb and Steuben counties
Property tax rate: $0.44 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: Academic programs, transportation and school safety
Note: This tax would begin after a current tax of the same amount expires.

Huntington County Community School Corporation, Huntington County
Property tax rate: $0.06 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: Academic programs, class sizes, school safety initiatives, teacher retention

Vigo County School Corporation, Vigo County
Property tax rate: $0.1622 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: Transportation, school safety, class size reduction and teacher retention

Zionsville Community Schools, Boone County
Property tax rate: $0.2444 per $100 assessed value for 8 years
For: Academic programs and class sizes
Note: This measure would replace a tax levy currently in place

School Safety and Security Project

Carmel Clay School Corporation, Hamilton County
Property tax rate: $0.10 per $100 assessed value
Project total: $53 million
For: School resource officers, youth-specific mental health programs, and professional development programs for all teachers, administrators and school employees