2022 School Referendum – For the Record

bc schools

Originally posted May 10, 2022, Updated August 20, 2022

Scope: Includes information from the 2016 Referendum that was passed, School Board’s advocacy against Indiana’s Education Choice (vouchers) policy, ISTA/NEA, and strategy (Political Action Committee) for advocating for the tax increase.

NEW (Aug19/20) – Schools website advocating for the Referendum 2022

To be posted once available: Paperwork submitted and approved by the DLGF.

Aug 16, 2022SCHOOL NEWS: Board member to serve on committee; staff changes, donations approved by  Staff Reports    (Post at Facebook – Brown County Matters

    • “A member of the Brown County School Board of Trustees was appointed to the legislative committee of the Indiana School Boards Association…. As a member of the committee, board Vice President Amy Oliver will work to direct the development of the annual legislative priorities and foundational statements that “will guide the association’s advocacy efforts in the coming year.”
      o. Note regarding other associations: The Brown County Educator Association (BCEA) is the local teachers union represented by the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA). ISTA is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA). NEA has taken many controversial positions regarding choice and curriculum.
      o. The BCEA, the past two superintendents, and the school board took a political stance in 2021 against Indiana’s Education Choice policies that include Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and vouchers. The NEA also opposes ESA and vouchers.

Aug 11, 20222022 Referendum – Supporting Documentation – Response to Requests for Information from DLGF and BC School Superintendent

Aug 9, 2022. Part 1  School Referendum – Context and Analysis – Blog post – Part 1

Aug 4, 2022.  EAGLE CORNER: Vote ‘yes’ to operating referendum this fallBy EMILY TRACY, guest columnist.

    • For the average home value in Brown County, this is an additional $3.26 per month, which is less than a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal.
    • Brown County Matters – Facebook Post of the article and comments
      • Lack of situational awareness?  Instead of a tax cut, it is being proposed that the current property tax rate be sustained and increased.  The “increase” was equated to the cost of McDonald’s Extra Value Meal. Economic conditions are a little different this time around than they were in 2016 when the first referendum was passed and expiring in 2023. Information sessions and advocacy for the referendum by school administrators appear to be lacking respect, empathy, and recognition for the economic challenges facing our country and its citizens. These challenges include less income for everyone due to inflation to include those with fixed, declining, low and moderate incomes. The inflation tax along with higher gas prices, drop in value and pension income from 401Ks, yearly increases in county property taxes due to demand and inflated home values, higher utility costs (water and sewer in some cases) and a county government that routinely has been raising property taxes every year contributes to some challenging economic times now and in the foreseeable future.I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis that justifies the “need” as opposed to “wants” for a new referendum. I have made formal requests for information to learn more about the data and decision-making processes. An outline of a decision-making process available at the BrownCountyLeaderNetwork.com

July 19, 2022School board approves operating referendum question on ballot this fall by Suzanna Couch, BCD. “Once DLGF approves the referendum language on the ballot, Tracy will form a political action committee to educate and campaign in the community. Money from the school district’s budget cannot be used for referendum campaigning, requiring donations be raised by the PAC to support those efforts.”

July 13, 2022. A place to grow: New facility set to open this school year for 3- to 5-year-old By  Suzannah Couch

Referendum:  – estimated to bring in $157,- 709 annually — would go to the school district’s Birth to Five Coalition, which works to provide early education opportunities for the youngest county residents. … Brown County Schools will open its fourth preschool program for 3 to 5 year olds in Nashville when the Early Education Center opens at the Educational Service Center this upcoming school year. The goal is to eventually expand early childhood education in Nashville to care for children from birth to 5 years old. A 2-year-old classroom is expected to open and serve 10 students in January. Ref: School board approves operating referendum question on ballot this fall By  Suzannah Couch 

June 28, 2022School Referendum – Yes or No? Voters will decide. Includes Letters for and against in the Brown County Democrat

June 16, 2022. Post: School Information Session on June 14 – Proposed Referendum

    • BC Schools Baker-Tilly Report – The Numbers
    • BC Schools Early Education Handout
    • General info – Brown County Schools (See also their Website)
    • Topics covered in the post: History – Referendum; Who can vote?; State Funding of Schools; Indiana – Education Policy, Justification, Decision-makers, Economic Situation, County Taxes; Continuing the tax vs taxes decreasing; National and State Issues: National School Board Association (NSBA), National Education Association (NEA), Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA); Brown County Schools, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Policy; Process and Due Diligence on behalf of all citizens; Outline – Community Decision-Making Process; Systemic Decline in Enrollment; Population projections; Demographics.  In summary, the School, through an analysis of alternatives, need to make the case that the new tax levy is needed. Voters can assess the quality of the analysis in support of their respective decision.

May 5, 2022GUEST OPINION: Can COVID-19 relief funds solve county’s child care needs? by Maddison Miller, Brown County Community Foundation (BCCF)

Department Local Government Finance (DLGF)

    • What is a School Tax Levy Referendum?.  Indiana Code 20-46-1-8 allows the governing body of a school corporation to adopt a resolution to place a public question on a ballot if the governing body determines that the school corporation (1) cannot carry out its public educational duty unless it imposes a referendum tax levy or (2) that a referendum tax levy should be imposed to replace property tax revenue that the school corporation will not receive because of the application of circuit breaker credits.
    • Petition/Remonstrance & Referendum Information. “In the case of the school corporation’s determination to have a referendum, there is no statutory remonstrance opportunity that is separate from the referendum itself. Whether it succeeds or fails depends on the results of the vote.” – DLGF
    • 5 things to know about school referendums in Indiana By  Emma Kate Fittes,   Oct 24, 2019.

    1. Districts in the state’s poorest and wealthiest areas are most likely to attempt a referendum.
    2. Only one type of school referendum can be used to increase teacher pay.
    3. Teachers in districts that passed a referendum see larger salary increases.
    4. A school referendum has been attempted in less than half of the state’s counties. At least one referendum has been attempted by a district in 37 of Indiana’s 92 counties, according to the Department of Local Government Finance.
    5. Marion County has attempted the most referendums, and seen the highest success rate.

June 14, 2022. ‘We need your help’: Community meetings discuss the referendum, future of school district By  Suzannah Couch

You are invited to join us for three community meetings held by your Brown County Schools to provide you with information about the proposed operating referendum.

Save the Dates: May 31, June 7,June 14 6:00 pm at the Brown County Schools ESC! Your input is important before any considerations are made of our next steps together.

Nov 19,2021.  School board approved budget for next year, enrollment count shows decrease by 

    • Last month the Brown County School Board of Trustees approved a budget that is expected to not result in an increase to property taxpayers.The budget will not increase property taxes despite the district recently taking out an $8 million loan for upgrades at the high school and a continued decline in student enrollment.

BC School Enrollment 2008 - 2022

    • “You are adamant about a consistent tax rate. Our tax rate is little bit over 68 cents and when this budget for 2022 is worked by the state in December, if the assessed values do not change by the county auditor, your tax rate is going to be 68 cents or lower,” Harris said.The tax rate will remain consistent even though the school district is set to see an
      increase in their funding due to an increase in the county’s assessed value.
    • “Your tax rates will be where they are at now or lower,” Harris said.
    • The assessed value for 2022 is $1,577,093,559. The assessed value that was submitted for budgets last year was $1,441,800,140, according to Smith.
    • The AV came in extremely high. Brown County property values are up, up,up,”
      Harris said at the Oct. 14 meeting.
    • A three year capital projects plan is also submitted each year where a district has to indicate what items they intend to buy that will be more than $10,000, Harris said.

Dec 1, 2021School board to approve CRC 2022 budget this week By  Suzannah Couch.  A penny of a 8 cent referendum voters approved in 2016 funds 50 percent of the CRC’s budget. The referendum is estimated to bring $137,000 in revenue next year, which is about the same as this year, Pagnard said.

Aug 12, 2021. School Board Opposes Vouchers. In the 2021 budget, school funding increased to include teacher compensation. This may prevent the need to pass another referendum. Vouchers were expanded and the policy was made a local issue.


March 28, 2017. Surprise on school tax cost: Ballot wording means taxpayers will see 2 referendum levies this year

Last May, voters approved adding 8 cents per $100 of assessed value to the property tax rate. The new money would total about $1 million a year for seven years.

That was the second referendum voters had approved for the school district. The first, passed in 2010, was at a 1-cent rate that directly funded the CRC. Voters approved it for seven years.


May 4, 2016Brown County Schools referendum passes.  Brown County Schools will be allowed to add 8 cents per $100 of assessed value to the property tax rate. Voters approved the school district’s…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s