Voters set to vote on Plymouth school referendum

NOW: Voters set to vote on Plymouth school referendum

PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- Voters in Plymouth will decide whether a proposed tax referendum should pass on Tuesday.

If the majority of voters check yes, the money would help the Plymouth Community School  Corporation hire three more social workers, offer better salaries to attract and retain teachers, and possibly pay for another school resource officer.

“We are looking to provide additional support in the areas of student safety initiatives, mental health support and programs, and attracting and retaining teachers,” said superintendent Andy Hartley.

If passed, property owners within the district would see their tax rate increase up to $0.19 from $1.10 to $1.29 for every $100 of a property’s assessed value.

The school corporation says the average home value in the district is $120,000. It would be a little less than nine extra dollars for the average homeowner.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have a school resource officer and other safety personnel, but we’d like to add to that to increase that sense of safety,” said Hartley. “A social worker in each building will really go a long way in preventative measures that will support kids and the things that they deal with. Our teachers do a great job everyday doing the best job they can for our kids in providing an excellent education. We have not been able to provide them with the basic cost of living expense and that’s what we’re trying to do with this.”

The district says a 10-year decline in student funding and property tax caps have impacted the district’s ability to support the initiatives increase would pay for.

“If we don’t get it, those things that I described, particularly in the first two areas are just things that we’re just not going to be able to do,” said Hartley. “If we don’t get the referendum we would continue to work toward those measures to try to do what we can.”

Alicia Davis is a mom to two, soon to be three, Washington Discovery Academy students.

“Seeing the daily challenges that our teachers are facing, really makes me think we need to do more on our part,” said Davis.

Davis supports the proposal.

“These kids are the kids that are going to be the face of our community in 10,15, 20 years and if we don’t do our part now to support the quality of teachers then what’s our community going to look like in the future,” said Davis.

People against the referendum declined or did not respond to ABC57’s interview request. Most said they did not want to have their taxes increased.

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