Hebron Area Schools Ask Voters For Help
Superintendent George Letz
Three school districts in northwest Indiana are asking voters next Tuesday to increase property taxes to help fund the cost of education. The Lakeshore’s Renetta Dubose chats with MSD Boone Township Superintendent George Letz about the referendum that his area voters will see at the election polls in Hebron…..
Renetta Dubose: Full time teachers and aides in Hebron’s MSD Boone Township face termination and larger class sizes if a referendum to raise property taxes fails on election day.
George Letz: We would have to cut nine teachers, three at the elementary level, three at the middle school level and three at the high school level.
Superintendent George Letz says the referendum calls for a raise of 23 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
Letz: That would give us 530 thousand a year on the general fund levy and last seven years.
The tax increase would prevent the district from filling classrooms to the maximum student capacity of 30 students. Residents throughout Hebron displayed yard signs in support of the measure. but Letz says a “yes” vote is not set in stone.
Letz: It’s hard to go to voters and ask them to raise taxes…especially those on a fixed income.
Letz says Boone Township lost more than 400 thousand dollars last year … the result of being hit hard by tax caps. He says it is difficult for the small rural area because the tax rate is high and the assessed valuation is low. The staff are some of the lowest paid in Lake and Porter Counties combined … but he’s calling on residents to dig deeper because the students have worked hard … especially on the 2012 I-STEP.
Letz: 82 percent of third through eighth grade students passed the math and language arts tests.
Attrition is also being looked at if the referendum does not pass. Letz says sports programs will also see cuts because coaches’ salaries come from the general fund. Renetta Dubose, Lakeshore News.