Mishawaka Schools asking taxpayers to continue funding referendum

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:33 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - School City of Mishawaka is asking taxpayers to continue funding a multi-million-dollar referendum that will help heighten school safety and security in every building.

The 2016 operating referendum expires this year, and the corporation says there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

“We want to make sure that individuals understand that the renewal means that their tax rate will remain the same if they vote in favor of our referendum moving forward...So, when you look at some of our neighbors and sort of the assessed value or the tax base, the local tax base that they are able to pull from so to speak, they are much larger than School City of Mishawaka...sort of sandwiched in the middle of it all,” says Dr. Theodore Stevens, Superintendent of School City of Mishawaka.

The last referendum helped with things like new technology hardware and software.

If funding is continued, the corporation says it will use some of the money for competitive pay, experiential learning, professional development and safety and security.

“We’d really like to have one officer in each building every day students are present, which is a big ask,” says Stevens.

Stevens says there is no other way to fund these projects, as state funding has changed over the years.

Stevens also says they received COVID money but used it on other projects.

“But we used a lot of those dollars to try and improve HVAC, the air handling equipment, healing, cooling,” he said.

The district says, “Public education is vital for our city’s social and economic well-being.”

“We want to hold up our end of the bargain at School City of Mishawaka and provide great educational program and a safe learning environment for all of our students and all of our staff,” says Stevens.

The referendum could bring $2.7 million to the district each year over the next eight years.

It will be on the May 2 ballot.

Upcoming meeting times can be found here.