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Three referendums approved to improve funding for Hamilton County school districts

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Three Hamilton County referendums were approved Tuesday to raise money for Westfield Washington Schools, Carmel Clay Schools and Sheridan Community Schools.

Westfield Washington Schools Referendum:

Westfield Washington Schools’ approved measure aims at addressing capacity issues at the growing school district.

The referendum will collect a maximum of $0.30 for every $100 of assessed property value to bring in a maximum of $90 million over the next 20 years.

Superintendent Sherry Grate told FOX59 Tuesday morning that the referendum is a “continued opportunity to invest in our future.”

Grates explained that demographic studies revealed Westfield Washington Schools will continue growing over the next decade, particularly in fifth-through-twelfth grades. More than 1,000 new students have already joined the district since 2012, and a projected 1,700 more are expected to join in the next 10 years.

The referendum money will be used for expansion and renovations at the intermediate, middle and high schools. Grates said it will also be used to maintain aging facilities at the district’s elementary school.

Grates explained that the district provided the community very initial diagrams of where space could be added at the schools if the referendum passed, but exact projects have not been named.

Carmel Clay Schools Referendum:

Carmel Clay Schools asked taxpayers to replace an expiring referendum.

The approved measure will assess a $0.19 tax for every $100 of assessed property value to go towards academic and support programs, teaching positions and other “educational needs” of Carmel Clay Schools.

Looking closely, it’s a three cent increase over the previous referendum which is set to expire at the end of the year. The district says its retiring other debts, which means the overall education tax rate will remain the same $0.83 for every $100 of assessed value that residents currently pay.

The district said it needed voters to pass the measure to avoid program and personnel cuts.

Sheridan Community Schools Referendum:

A referendum passed in Sheridan will increase $0.25 for every $100 of assessed property value.

Sheridan Community Schools’ measure will raise property taxes for the next seven years to help the district maintain its teaching staff, classroom sizes and academic related programs.

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