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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

education

MCCSC discusses upcoming referendum vote

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Though the general election isn’t until Nov. 8, Monroe County school board members encouraged the community to get out the vote now.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation school board meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting began with Tim Thrasher, director of business operations for MCCSC, addressing general funds, transportation, bus replacements, debt services and an upcoming 
referendum.

The MCCSC submitted a proposed question June 29 to place an operating referendum on the ballot to continue a tax levy with a tax rate that is not to exceed $0.1150 per $100 of accessed value.

A referendum is a public question placed on the ballot by a local unit.

A 2010 referendum to supplement funding to MCCSC will expire in December 2016. The vote to renew this funding is included in the general election this November.

The tax rate is projected to be $0.1193 if the referendum is passed, according to the referendum exempt operating fund on the MCCSC website. The tax rate is projected for 2017 at $0.1150.

Indiana state law allows a maximum of seven years for receiving operating funds provided by a referendum. The MCCSC chose six years in order for the vote to continue the supplementation of funds for the district to coincide with the 2016 general election to avoid additional tax dollars to open and staff polls, according to the the Yes For MCCSC 
organization.

Thrasher said the funding is anticipated to increase by 2.1 percent if the student account budget stays consistent with the 2015-16 account, though it is not 
finalized.

Martha Street, president of the MCCSC board, said in her opening remarks the meeting would have a time for public comments.

Milton Fisk, IU professor of philosophy and a member of South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, said there is a generally positive response from the labor movement in Bloomington.

“I’ve been going to various meetings for labor people and union people,” Fisk said. “I’m trying to get them to commit themselves to make sure they talk to their neighbors and fellow work people to say yes on the 
referendum.”

He said he believes a vast majority of the community is in favor of the referendum.

“Hopefully at some point in the future we’ll get things at the state level straightened out enough so we don’t have a jigsaw puzzle with the kinds of ways the schools are treated and mistreated,” Fisk said.

Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, a candidate for District 4 MCCSC School Board seat and advocate for the referendum, said she encourages people to come out and help with phone calls and street work to campaign for the referendum. She said one of the main issues with gathering support for the referendum is knowledge.

The meeting also addressed programs including the Fairview Elementary and Artful Learning-Performing Arts Academy initiative, ACT and SAT score increases, and voted on donations and contracts concerning all school levels. The board members also noted the approved various school locations Sept. 9.

Lois Sabo-Skelton, an MCCSC board member, said there is nothing more important than focusing on children’s education.

“We can’t take it for granted,” Skelton said. “There are still people who aren’t quite sure what the referendum is, but we do have a foundation in this community that you should feel good going out and spreading the word that education is the bottom line for our democracy and for this community and this state and this nation.”

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