EVSC considers possible referendum

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Superintendent Dr. David Smith presented the EVSC School Board with an overview of what a possible referendum could mean for the school corporation, but the presentation didn’t go without much debate.

Before the referendum in question can be voted on by the public, the school board must first pass a resolution saying the school corporation cannot carry out its public duty unless they impose a referendum tax levy.

Some members of the public say state legislators aren’t doing enough to help the pay issue causing schools to lose teachers at an alarming rate and that a referendum could be the solution they’ve been looking for.

“When you speak about retaining teachers, no you’re not. I remember when you couldn’t get into EVSC because nobody retired out of it because it was just that good of an employment area,” said retired educator Ruth Baize.

“A referendum could fix the pay issue and get us back to the teacher salary schedule, that is what is needed. I have no faith or confidence that the current governor and legislators will fix the current lack of public education funding,” said Evansville Teachers Association President Michael Rust.

If a referendum fails, the school corporaion cannot hold another referendum for 700 days unless 5% of voters in the school corporation petition in favor of a referendum. A successful levy can be imposed for up to 8 years, at which point the school corporation can place a question on the ballot to either renew the levy or adopt a new levy with a different term and rate.

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(This story was originally published on December 9, 2019)

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