Funding Questions Swirl After Voters Defeat Referendum

Property-tax-200x150Voters who reside within the jurisdiction of the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation soundly defeated a property tax referendum. Revenue from the proposed hike would have been used to prop up sagging revenue as a result of declining enrollment and changes in the way the state funds schools.

In Starke County, the vote was 68.1 percent opposed and 31.8 percent in favor of the referendum. The margin of opposition in Rich Grove and Cass Townships in Pulaski County was slightly wider, with 71.5 percent opposed and 28.4 percent in favor of the tax hike. In Starke County 25 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, while nearly 29 percent voted in Pulaski County.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson told WKVI news, “I’m disappointed, but the voters have spoken.” She plans to meet Wednesday with her three principals and discuss potential cuts to both close the books on the budget year that ends Dec. 31st and cover next year’s deficit.

Money in the General Fund is used to pay teacher salaries and cover the cost of some programs. No specific cuts have been identified at this time, but Johnson says class sizes will likely increase as a result of the failed referendum push.