Elkhart County voters approve three school referenda - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart County voters approve three school referenda

Voters approved both School Property Tax Questions and a school restoration project put before them on Tuesday.  Concord and Elkhart schools were both looking for more funds, and both were successful.  Elkhart School District parents voted in favor of the proposal by more than a 20% margin.  It was much closer in Concord, with only 80 votes between approval and denial.

"Concord is the 8th hardest hit district in the state, has losses from the tax caps," says Concord Superintendent, Wayne Stubbs.

Stubbs says the district has lost 10 million dollars in property tax revenue over the past five years. Tuesday's referendum will raise $3.9 million for the district, the amount lost in 2013. "It's about kids. We've had to reduce staffing. We've had to not replace staffing and caused our class sizes to increase to the level where they're not acceptable and so we're now going to be able to make sure some of those adjustments," says Stubbs.

Stubbs says the referendum will cost tax payers who own a home worth 100 thousand dollars, about 11 extra dollars a month.

Elkhart Community Schools voters approved two referenda. The district says it's because of 16 million dollars in losses. One item will raise about $4 million over seven years for operating school buses. The other item is a $19 million loan for capital improvements.

After declaring victory, Superintendent Rob Haworth said, "We're very excited about this outcome. It's an outcome that speaks to our students. It's an outcome that speaks to fiscal responsibility this district has shown over several years and the faith that they have in that it will continue and that's our plan."

The extra cost to taxpayers with a $110 thousand home would be about $7 a month.
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