2022 School Referendum – Supporting Documentation

Updated Sep 16, 2022 

bc schools

Sep 14, 2022. Post shared on the Facebook group –  Brown County Matters.

    • The Process – School Referendum. The request of taxpayers is to provide over $15 million dollars over 8 years. The proposed referendum represents a “solution.” The economic times are a little different than they were when the previous referendum was passed in 2016.
    • There was little information provided to the public “prior” to the School Board’s approval in “July” that identified the scope and extent of the problem. The School’s website became available in “August” and provides a little more information but includes more generalities than specifics. The school had several years to develop a detailed analysis as to why revenue from a new referendum would be needed. This would include a thorough analysis of alternatives and trade-offs. The strategic plan and accomplishments would be another key input.
    •  A “solution-first” strategy leads to bias and an appeal to emotion when attempts are later made to justify the need. Needs typically identify why the respective missions cannot be accomplished vs comparison of tax rates with other districts. Enrollment has been trending down since around 2008. This decline reduces the need for staff and infrastructure. Reversing the decline in enrollment is probably not likely.
    • Information below includes the information made available to the public It also includes the information, e.g., spend plan, and number of referendums in Indiana, I requested from DLGF. Note in 2022, only 14 of 291 districts have requested a

Aug 11, 2022. Post shared on the Facebook group –  Brown County Matters

    • School Referendum – follow-up. I received the additional information from the State (DLGF) and Brown County Schools.
    • Spending Plan for the revenue expected from the new tax submitted to the State (DLGF): Estimated Annual Revenue: $1,892,512. Expenditures: Teacher salaries and benefits: $1,419,385 (93%); CRC: $157, 709; “NEW” Birth to 5 program: $157, 709. Operations Fund: $157,709.
    • The average property tax increase paid to the school corporation per year will increase by 33.91% for residences and 20.91% on business property.
    • Of the approximately 291 school districts in Indiana, only 8 are pursuing a referendum on the Nov 2022 ballot. A total of 14 districts pursued a referendum in 2022.
      o. Note on pay levels – for county employee salaries, the County Council and Sheriff’s Department developed studies to validate the appropriate amounts and shared them at public meetings. The studies included comparisons with other counties of our size and surrounding counties. I have not seen the equivalent studies and comparisons respective to local teacher salaries.

August 2022.  NEW – Schools website advocating for the Referendum 2022

      • Key Points:
        •  Spending Plan for the revenue expected from the new tax submitted and approved by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF): L
          • Estimated Annual Revenue: $1,892, 512. (over 8 years –$15,140,096.00).
          • Expenditures:
            • Teacher salaries and benefits: $1,419,385.
            • CRC: $157, 709;
            • “NEW” Birth to 5 program: $157, 709.
            • Operations Fund: $157,709.
        • The average property tax increase paid to the school corporation per year will increase by 33.91% for residences and 20.91% on business property. 
        • Of the approximately 291 school districts in Indiana, only 8 are pursuing a referendum on the Nov 2022 ballot. A total of 14 districts pursued a referendum in 2022 
        • Note on pay levels – for county employee salaries, the County Council and Sheriff’s Department developed studies to validate the appropriate amounts and shared them at public meetings. The studies included comparisons with other counties of our size and surrounding counties. I have not seen the equivalent studies and comparisons respective to local teacher salaries.

Background Information and Index – 2022 School Referendum – For the Record

Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) – Referendum Information

Referendums since 2009

November 2022 Elections – Brown County

May 31, June 7, and June 14, 2022. The superintendent’s presentation and justification for the referendum shared with the public and provided at the three information sessions . Referendum Community Meeting Slides.   (Ref: ‘We need your help’: Community meetings discuss referendum, future of school district By  Suzannah Couch, 

 

referendum question and tax rate

REFERENDUM SPENDING PLAN

Response to Request for Information  (RFI) provided by Superintendent Emily Tracy – Brown County Schools

Aug 10, 2022.  Email Response BC Schools Superintendant Emily Tracy for the information submitted to the School Board that supported their decision to approve the referendum.

Email Attachments:

Copies of the Handouts that were provided at the Information Sessions on June 14, 2022

    • This fall, Brown County Schools will ask voters to say “yes” to an operating referendum and to supporting the future of the school district.
    • But before any decisions are made, the school district wants to hear from parents, school staff and community members. 
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