Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Referenda Watch: Two Northern Indiana Districts To Ask Voters For Building Money

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    Construction crews at work.

    Add a few more school referenda to your watchlists.

    The school board in Mishawaka decided Tuesday to begin the process of putting a $28 million facilities upgrade before district voters, The South Bend Tribune’s Kim Kilbride reports:

    People won’t move to a community with outdated schools with outdated technology.

    That’s one of the reasons Matthew Boulac, a parent of two students in Mishawaka schools, said he supports a $28 million facilities upgrade proposal that’s headed to a voter referendum this fall…

    Mike Wojtysiak, who was on the board most recently about seven years ago and ran unsuccessfully last fall, said he’d like the board and the administration to do a little more “homework” on the issue…

    “Who’s going to buy your house (in Mishawaka) when your tax rates are so much higher?” he said when he met with The Tribune earlier this week…

    Voters who live within [School City of Mishawaka’s] boundaries will entertain the notion of supporting a $28 million project that will, among a long list of other items, result in augmented security at many of the district’s schools, roof, parking lot and boiler repairs and improvements to the high school football stadium.

    Keep an eye on Goshen Community Schools, too. From John Kline at The Goshen News:

    A new pool may be in the cards for Goshen Community Schools after all.

    Members of the Goshen Board of School Trustees Monday gave their blessing to the pursuit of a $17.15 million renovation and construction project. That project would include building a new pool at either the middle school or high school as well as the expansion of various music, physical education and classroom areas.

    The next step for Goshen school officials? Working to garner enough petitions to get the building proposal on a referendum in the fall general election.

    In the past five years, Indiana districts have had a roughly 50-50 chance of success when they ask voters to raise their own property taxes to help the schools.

    Districts can ask for money for “capital projects” — meaning, to help build new schools or renovate existing ones — or for “general fund” dollars to cover operating expenses, such as staff salaries.

    As our sortable list of every Indiana school referendum since November 2008 shows, districts have gone to voters 43 times to approve construction projects. Voters have approved 18 of those projects.


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