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The Results Are In: Here’s How School Funding Referendum Measures Fared This Fall

By Jeanie Lindsay, IPB News | Published on in Education, Government, Politics, Statewide News
Two school funding referendum measures were proposed in Marion County. Center Grove failed to gain voter approval, but MSD Lawrence Township did. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Two school funding referendum measures were proposed in Marion County. Center Grove failed to gain voter approval, but MSD Lawrence Township did. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

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

Two districts, Danville Community School Corporation and Huntington County Community Schools, proposed both operations and construction measures. Washington and Center Grove Community schools also failed to win voter approval for their measures.

Danville Superintendent Tracey Shafer says now, it’s time to figure out next steps to keep more teachers, repair buildings, and improve busing.

“We have a need to replace 17-year-old buses so they’re safe for our children,” Shafer says.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Community School Corporation Superintendent Tony Cassel says with his district’s referendum win, he’s ready to get back to doing his job.

“A lot of tears with parents tonight, with my wife, staff members just rejoicing that we’re moving forward,” Cassel says.

Carmel Clay Schools won the state’s first ever school safety referendum, and Zionsville Community Schools is claiming victory for two referendum measures. Scott County School District Number 1 also won more funding from voters, and the superintendent said via email he’s “ready to build a new elementary school.”

Vigo County schools proposed a referendum to help bridge funding gaps caused by ongoing enrollment declines. Spokesperson Bill Riley says the district is planning to make more than $5 million in spending cuts but wanted time to figure out how to make those changes. So, he says, it’s a huge relief the measure passed.

“We’re really excited that we’re going to have the space now and the financial breathing room to make these decisions for Vigo County School Corporation,” he says.

Contact Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.