EACS Referendum Not Affected By Redesign Plan

By Megan Trent

October 26, 2010 Updated Oct 26, 2010 at 6:48 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Smaller class sizes, better technology, and more advanced placement programs. It sure sounds like a great idea, but how much are you willing to pay for it?

East Allen County residents will vote on a property tax referendum on next week's election ballot. Administrators are busy getting information about the referendum out to the community, and trying to clear up a few misconceptions. For example, the referendum is not connected to the EACS redesign plan. Administrators say regardless of whether the referendum passes on November 2nd, the school board has already voted on a plan to redesign the district, and that plan will move forward.

EACS School Board President Janice Witte says the district saved $6.9 million with their redesign plan, but she says their budget is still short more than a million dollars.

The referendum could raise up to $8.2 million each year for seven years. If passed, it would raise property taxes across the district by 37 cents per $100 of a home or business' assessed value. The money would go towards the district's general fund, which administrators say would improve the quality of school programs.

"It's not our kids fault that the economy is bad, and they still deserve an education," says Witte. "When times were tough in the past, people did that for us. People passed referendums, increased classes, so that we could have a good education. And we need to do the same for our children."

EACS Superintendent Karly Green says not passing the referendum could result in more, difficult budget cuts. "If this doesn't pass, we still have a whole host of things related to our educational programming that we have to provide for. So, we'll have to go back and look at how we want to prioritize that - where we want to cut and how we're going to get the money to provide this education that we need to do for the skills of the 21st century."

Residents can get more information before casting their vote next week. Just click on the "EACS Referendum" link under our NewsLinks tab. That will take you to the EACS website, where there is additional information and even a calculator that will estimate how your family might be financially affected by the referendum.

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