Two failed referendums and denial of a $2.5 million loan left Mt. Vernon school officials wondering how they would eliminate the district’s remaining debt.
The only real option left is another public referendum that would seek an influx of up to $3 million from property tax payers. This time, however, the school won’t be alone in trying to spread the message.
Jeff Mull and Larry Longman, who also sits on the McCordsville Town Council, have begun developing a community action network called GraduateMVCSC. It has one overall goal: help Mt. Vernon defeat its debt.
“Our mindset is: We’ve done a tremendous amount of cost-cutting,” Mull said. “What we haven’t done is focus on the revenue side. Now we’re starting to see lower test scores; we’re starting to see an impact on the educational environment within the school. I think we’ve got more negative changes coming.”
Their plan includes another taxpayer referendum that would allow a vote on a tax increase. The goals include reaching out to taxpayers and voters with an educational outreach program, showing residents how the school ended up in the current situation and what the group believes needs to happen next.
“People tend to only want to focus on expenses, and there’s no mention of the revenue stream that school corporations get,” Mull said.