Voters could make an impact on classrooms with lower-ballot items

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Canvassers going door-to-door, as well as school districts across central Indiana, are encouraging voters to pay attention to ballot items that will impact classrooms.

Debra Pasha, whose granddaughter goes to Indianapolis Public Schools, walked through west side neighborhoods Monday for Stand for Children. She was handing out flyers touting the group's chosen candidates for school board, and encouraging people to vote for more than just the president.

"We’re encouraging the voters that when they do their presidential voting, flip the ballot over in order to vote for the school board members, because it won’t catch on a straight ticket," Pasha said.

That's because school board members don't declare a political affiliation.

In IPS, four of the seven board seats are up for grabs.

Other communities are voting not only for school board members, but also for tax referendums to pay for their day-to-day activities.

In Washington Township, district leaders say a 'No' vote could lead to layoffs and cuts in services.

"We’ve created classrooms out of closets, classrooms in the hallways, trailers at some of our schools because we just can’t fit all the students in," Board President Bill Turner told CBS4 in October.

Monroe County Schools, Westfield Washington Schools and Clinton Central Schools are also asking voters to approve referendums.

On the state level, Superintendent Glenda Ritz (D), will try to earn a second term in office, as she faces Republican challenger Jennifer McCormick.

Pasha said that she hoped voters would take the less talked about school votes seriously, even if they don't feel as strongly about them.

"Even if they don’t have children in the system, we still need their support for the ones that are there," Pasha said.

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