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IPS makes one last effort to support the $410 million capital referendum

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Indianapolis, Indiana – An important ballot question pertaining to Indianapolis Public Schools is currently up for early voting in Marion County.

As part of the Rebuilding Stronger plan, the school district is seeking voters to approve a $410 million capital referendum to pay for improvements and repairs at 23 school facilities.

The funds from the referendum, which was approved by the IPS board in December, would be used to fix the plumbing, lighting, and fire safety at various schools as well as build new athletic fields and sidewalks. Additionally, it would pay for a brand-new elementary school with 650 students.

The proposed increase in property taxes, if approved by voters, would be nearly $3 a month.

About 30% of the district’s facilities have been deemed to be “not great,” according to IPS Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson, who spoke on Daybreak Monday. This makes referendum approval crucial.

“When we think about what we know about our facilities, and we think about the number of years it’s been since we’ve done renovations, we just believe our students deserve to be able to learn in upgraded, modernized, warm, safe, and comfortable buildings,” Johnson said.

Johnson thinks that the ability of children to succeed in the classroom is positively impacted by decent facilities.

“This referendum is about ensuring we can make major innovations to our facilities to support programming so that when our students are going to school every day, they’re in a building that reflects the value we have for them.”

An IPS operating referendum won’t be on the primary ballot for Marion County residents. Earlier this year, a ballot question that aimed to support better programs and offer staff salaries that were more competitive was removed from the ballot.

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