BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Benton Community School Corporation board voted to put a referendum question on the May ballot at its Monday night meeting. This decision has been months in the making, after looking at finances, finding ways to save money and consulting with the community.
Superintendent Gregg Hoover said this referendum is their best option to gain important funding.
"We find ourselves in deficit spending by close to $1.5 million," he said. "There really is no other option for getting money other than a referendum."
As we have previously reported, the school corporation is struggling financially. Supt. Hoover told us back in November that they can make it to 2022 with the current money situation. He said a big part of this is an active decrease in enrollment at Benton Community Schools and problems getting sufficient funding from the state.
The board put together a Financial Advisory Committee last fall to study the options. They surveyed the community and held informational meetings to get input. One community member spoke before the board Monday night and said he hopse the board will continue to look for small ways to make program cuts along with the referendum.
The board passed a referendum that would increase property taxes 31 cents for every $100 with a vote of three to one. Board President Ed Schroeder was the only board member to vote against it.
Supt. Hoover said they already cut a lot of programs about 10 years ago to help with money saving measures. He said a referendum is their best option to give the best education possible to students.
"We pride ourselves on offering what every student needs as much as we can, so this will give them the opportunity to maintain those programs," he said.
He is encouraging people to get informed before they vote on this referendum in May. He said you can find information on the website and you can call or email the school corporation office with questions.
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