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3 Indiana school districts asking voters for funding in May primary election



Indianapolis, Indiana – In May, voters in three Indiana school districts will be asked to approve financing for initiatives like increasing teacher salaries, extending epidemic relief programs that are about to expire, and enhancing school safety.

On May 7, Blue River Valley Schools, Brown County Schools, and the Pike Township Metropolitan School District will have these tax revenue-related ballot issues on their primary election ballots.

School districts may ask voters to approve referendums to raise money for construction and safety expenditures in addition to operating costs. To pass, a simple majority is required.

Not the percentage of total property tax increases, but the percentage of school property tax increases relative to the base amount given to schools is indicated in the ballot language.

Furthermore, school districts in Marion, St. Joseph, Vanderburg, and Lake counties are required by law to share ballot measure funds with charter schools for running expenses. This law was passed last year. The first district in Marion County to have a referendum since the law’s implementation is Pike Township, which is the only district to which that statute applies on May 7.

Here is information about the referendums in each district.

Rate: $0.24 for every $100 in assessed property value over eight years. With a projected $14.5 million in sales per year, Pike Township is requesting funding from the public for the first time. Over eight years, the tax rate would be 24 cents per $100 of net assessed value.

The ballot proposition would provide funding for three main areas: maintaining the staffing and programs that have been added since the outbreak, drawing and keeping teachers, and ensuring school safety and security.

Of the total funds, $4.5 million would be used to maintain staff members receiving federal COVID relief and to go on with programming. Social workers, academic interventionists, 1:1 computing devices, and a new curriculum to assist pupils in overcoming trauma outside of the classroom would all be covered by cash. It would cover about sixty employees’ salaries and benefits.

Pike Superintendent Larry Young stated, “The needs are still very much there, but the funds are going away.”

According to Young, Pike Township would be able to pay competitive salaries and draw in excellent educators if it received an additional $9 million. In addition to instructional staff, custodians and secretaries would also be covered by money.

Last but not least, although Young clarified that a precise figure is unknown, an approximately $1 million would be used to hire more school resource police and security staff for the district. Upgrades to security, such as a system that allows numerous persons to pass through at once, would also be paid for.

Requirement proceeds from the referendum must be shared by Pike with charter schools that accept enrolled district residents as students.

Nevertheless, according to school board records, fifteen charters are requesting funding from Pike’s referendum. Should they succeed, the schools as a whole will get more than $412,000 a year out of the projected $14.5 million. Indiana Math and Science Academy (about $81,000) and Herron Charter (approximately $71,000) would get the biggest donations.

Given that a homeowner in the school district has an average assessed value of $237,200, the average yearly tax increase resulting from the vote would be $295.20.

To determine how much their taxes would change if the ballot proposal succeeds, property owners can also utilize this calculator on the Pike Township Schools website. Rate: For eight years, $0.10 is deducted for every $100 of assessed property value.

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