Elkhart schools $122 million referendum rejected by voters

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

Voters said “no” to the $122 million referendum for Elkhart Community Schools.

The district asked property owners for over $15 million a year for the next eight years. It cme out to an extra $119 per average property owner. But nearly 65 percent of voters rejected the plan.

Elkhart Schools Superintendent Steve Thalheimer told ABC 57 News that’s going to make it difficult to hire and keep good teachers and that they will have to make some tough choices regarding cutback moving forward.

Besides increasing teacher pay, the money would have been used to reduce their health insurance costs and maintain transportation for students.

It’s the second time in recent years voters said no to a referendum.

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Charles U Farley May 5, 2021 at 8:01 am

Good. It’s time to force the schools to spend their money wisely instead of blowing it on random stuff and then crying about shortfalls. It’s not hard to see where the schools have massive amounts of misdirected spending…

Slacker 06 May 5, 2021 at 9:12 am

Twice now voters have soundly rejected this funding scheme. I call for the school board to RESIGN because they were told no and still keep asking for more.

Time to reorder priorities.

Time to replace the school board with real people rather than political hacks.

Slacker06 May 5, 2021 at 9:41 am

Like the petulant children you purport to educate you couldn’t take no for an answer. You stomped you feet and threw a tantrum and demanded a raise in your allowance for no real increase in performance. Now you spend multiplied $-thousands of taxpayer funds to be officially told NO once again. You thought you could sneak this by the taxpayers because it was an off year election. The indignity of going to the poll to see the full election regalia on display for a single question is completely unacceptable, wasteful, and foolish. You are all tone deaf at the very least! This only proves to taxpayers and voters you care nothing for their funds or desires. Plus most of us are not convinced you have the best interest of our kids and grand kids at heart either. The School board should pay for the election out of their own pockets. This was a complete waste of taxpayers time and money. But that is what unaccountable government hacks do right, waste time and money?????

Babs May 5, 2021 at 1:55 pm

For anyone who knows basic math and bothered to do a little figuring on their own, the $119 used as an example for an “average” homeowner is baloney. If the additional millage was capped at $.385 per $100 of assessed valuation, as per the ballot initiative, that “average” home would have to be assessed at just $50,000. That is hardly the average valuation of housing in this school district. For someone in a $200,000 house, that additional tax assessment would be closer to $800! A $300,000 house would increase by almost $1,200! THAT is why this referendum failed. We are tired of being asked for more and more, with no evidence that the school system is doing their part to live within their means.

That said – it’s disturbing that in a school district the size of the Elkhart School System, only about 5,000 people could be bothered to go to the polls to do their civic duty.

Boogie May 5, 2021 at 9:04 pm

One must wonder what the teacher to six-figure administrator ratio is.


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