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Residents Claim Referendum Money Not Distributed Fairly

Prior to November, community members canvassed Bloomington trying to get support for a referendum that would provide $7.5 million to Monroe County Community Schools Corporation over the next six years. But some residents who worked to get the referendum passed now say the money is not being distributed fairly.

The majority of voters who came out to the polls showed they supported the referendum. Now the time has come to divvy up the money and talk about restoring funds to programs and positions that were cut. But some residents say the programs they advocated to keep are now not being restored.

Resident Ben Robinson says the district used to have 3 and a half language teachers but under the current proposed budget it would only have two. He questions why some certified teacher positions are being cut while other uncertified positions are being added.

“What is that about? Am I supposed to trade off the very substantial proven benefits of foreign language education for a huge budget outlay for 45 new untested people? And should we be going this new direction?”

A week before the election the budget committee released a preliminary budget for the referendum money that did restore all the cuts that had been made in February. MCCSC Comptroller Tim Thrasher admits the budget has been changed, but he says still, the budget now being proposed is not final.

“The school board has the authority and I think the committee has the expectation that if after listening to the community input the board wants to reallocate funds and add position or cut positions that they don’t think are well advised to hire, the can certainly do that.”

The budget committee is hosting two public meetings this week to discuss its budget proposal with the community. The first is tomorrow at 5:30 in the University Elementary School cafeteria.

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