So why should you oppose the 2019 Elkhart Community Schools Referendum? There are MANY reasons! 

First of all though, let’s talk about why they say we need this referendum. More pay for teachers, a better teacher to student ratio and better health insurance and compensation for teachers. We at Best for Elkhart think all of these things are good…the issue becomes that these things have NOT been a priority to Elkhart Community Schools or the school board. What has been? Well, let’s look a little deeper and you will see why that our elected officials are attempting to have their cake, eat their cake, and get the people of Elkhart to buy them a lifetime supply of more cake.

 

1. Currently the schools already get .41 of every dollar from the property taxes in Indiana… this is before any referendum. The ¬†.14 referendum from 2 years ago was a large increase based on what they already are getting, and upping that to .58 is egregious and burdensome to people who are on fixed incomes and will end up seriously hurting people that rent as landlords will be forced to raise rent to pay for these enormous increases. The very people Elkhart Community Schools are telling you this will help, it is going to hurt.

 

2. Elkhart Community Schools has been¬†irresponsible with the funds they already have! They rented a building in downtown Elkhart, and now can’t even use it. This building is costing them (us really as it is our tax money) nearly $24,000 a month for 23 months. Want more proof? The school system came in $1 million under budget on the roofs they had to fix (with money from the last referendum), and rather than utilize this money to plan for the future, they spent it on things like electronic marquis signs for several of the schools. Finally, Elkhart Community Schools, just 1 year ago, gave the Elkhart Aquatic Center a $6 million donation! These funds are funds that they now are asking for us to repay back in the form of this new $20 million referendum. Why should we pay more so they can have their name on a building as a “partner”? Worse yet, ECS students and their families don’t even benefit from this donation in the way of free entry to the center.

3. Elkhart Community Schools refuses to make the needed cuts to bring themselves in line with surrounding districts. Penn Harris Madison, a neighboring school corporation, has 10 admin employees making $100,000 or more. South Bend Schools? Just 2 making $100K or more. Elkhart Community Schools has 27! That is roughly $1.7 million a year in payroll that could be saved over the life of this 8 year referendum ($13.6 million).

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