INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Hoosiers showed up at the polls for the May primary election to make their voices heard in school referendums across the state.
Several of those impacted school districts in central Indiana.
Perry Township (Marion County) – PASSED
A referendum in Perry Township focused on funding more than 200 positions as well as transportation costs, including half a million dollars in fuel supplies.
According to Perry Township Schools officials, this referendum would not raise people’s taxes and would be a renewal of the pre-existing referendum passed in 2015.
Without the referendum, superintendent Pat Mapes said the district would be forced to eliminate 193 teaching positions, roughly a fifth of the teaching staff.
At this time, the YES vote is the overwhelming majority at 60.8%.
Perry Township Schools released a statement on the preliminary results.
Preliminary results indicate a win for Perry Township Schools. The district is grateful for the results of this election. We are encouraged by the YES vote. It means the community understands the importance of quality education. We consider the YES vote a win-win for not just the students, teachers and staff, but the community as a whole. Strong Schools means Strong Community!
Perry Township Schools will continue to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. A heartfelt thank you to everyone in Perry Township: those who voted for the referendum and those who did not. We are deeply grateful for your support!Perry Township Schools
Franklin Township (Marion County) – DID NOT PASS
Voters in Marion County’s Franklin Twp. had a referendum on their ballot centered on funding construction at the Franklin Township Community School Corporation. It would provide nearly $99 million over 22 years.
The money would have been used to renovate most of the high school and upgrade the elementary schools. District officials say Franklin Central High School is nearly 50 years old with outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and does not have enough space for the more than 4,500 students.
FTCSC said if passed, the referendum rate would still be the lowest in Marion County. The increase would be $15.48 per month on a median value home of $185,700. They say residents living within the Franklin Township school boundaries pay the lowest residential property taxes in Marion County.
With 99% of votes reported, it’s safe to say the referendum did not pass. A majority of 62.4% of respondents voted NO compared to 37.6% who voted YES.
Lebanon (Boone County) – PASSED
Constructions was also on the agenda in the referendum for Lebanon residents. If passed, it would raise the average property tax paid to the school corporation per year by 40.09%. While it sounds like a large number, the referendum is actually just a replacement of a referendum from 2010 — which means there should be no increased compared to the current tax rate.
If passed, Lebanon Community Schools’ superintendent Jon Milleman says more than $102 million in funding will be split with 95% going towards academic and safety and security upgrades and the rest going to support services.
Plans include building a new elementary school to replace Central Elementary School.
With 100% of the votes counted, 62.9% of voters chose YES, ensuring the passing of the referendum.