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Only two of nine school referendums fail to receive voter approval

Lauren Chapman
IPB News
A voter submits their ballot at a vote center in Indianapolis. Voters approved seven school referendums Tuesday.

Voters approved seven school referendums Tuesday. Only Vigo County Schools and Franklin Township failed to get approval.

This was Franklin Township Community Schools’ fourth proposed referendum since 2009 – all failed. More than 60 percent of district voters voted no.

It remains the only corporation – out of 11 Marion County school districts – that has not passed a property tax referendum. The proposed nearly $100 million property tax referendum would have paid for school building construction.

READ MORE: Perry Schools win referendum, voters again reject Franklin Township Schools’ tax levy

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The referendum would have generated $98.4 million over 22 years. Most of the funds would have gone toward expanding the high school. About $9.5 million would have covered construction costs at six elementary schools, as well as bond issuance costs.

School staff said the district needed a referendum to expand capacity for the growing district and address the needs of the high school’s aging 50-year-old building.

Vigo County Schools also failed to get approval for a construction referendum, with more than 65 percent of votes against it. The district won voter approval in 2019 for an operations referendum.

This year’s ballot measure was for renovations to North Vigo High School, South Vigo High School and West Vigo Middle/High School, including new academic spaces, technology and equipment. The referendum would have generated nearly $262 million over 22 years.

Most of the referendums that passed got more than 60 percent approval, including Edinburgh, Griffith, MSD Perry Township and both Lebanon Community Schools referendums.

Both Mt. Vernon Schools and Valparaiso Community Schools’ referendums received about 55 percent approval.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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Lauren Chapman