Monday, January 6, 2014

Truth Offers Answers on Elkhart's Proposed School Referendum

From the Elkhart Truth:

The Elkhart school board is expected to make some decisions on a proposed funding issue at a public meeting Monday night, Jan. 6.

In December, Elkhart Community Schools superintendent Rob Haworth announced he would ask the board to consider a referendum — a way for the schools to get more money through property taxes. A referendum would mean that the voting public will be asked to agree to higher taxes to pay for some of the school corporation’s needs.

Haworth has said he thinks a referendum would be supported by the Elkhart community because “it’s the right thing to do.”

The community’s first chance to give feedback is during Monday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the J.C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Rd.

Shawn Hannon, spokeswoman for Elkhart Community Schools, said Sunday evening that the meeting will not be canceled due to weather.

She also said members of the public who wish to speak will be given the opportunity following the school board’s regular business.

According to the information packet for Monday’s meeting, the board will be considering two referendums. The first is for $4,000,000 and the second is for $19,030,000.

The larger amount would pay for a “2014 Multi-Facility Safety, Security and Basic Building Restoration Project.” The smaller amount could help fund the school corporation’s transportation operating costs for a period of seven years.

The cost to taxpayers would be about five cents per $100 of assessed property value for the larger amount, and about 13 cents per $100 of assessed property value for the smaller amount.

If the board decided to approve these two items in Monday’s meeting, the voting public would get a chance to either support the referendums — or not — in the May 2014 election.

The board will also consider a third resolution — a commitment to keep the total school tax rate at $1.2861 per $100 of assessed property value — or less — for the 2015 budget year.

To read the proposed resolutions in their entirety, go to and find the public information packet for Jan. 6, 2014, on the School Board page.