HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) - One of the fastest growing school districts in the state isasking its voters for money. The vote could impact the way somechildren learn in the classroom.
On Tuesday people who live in one part of Hamilton County willhead to the polls. On the ballot is a school referendum forHamilton Southeastern Schools.
"We see this as a temporary fix to a long term problem," HSESuperintendent Dr. Brian Smith said.
The school district is asking voters to approve a tax increaseto help make up for a five and a half million dollar budgetshortfall.
"The cost of the referendum for a home assessed at 100,000dollars would be 11 dollars more per year than what they paycurrently. And we think that's a reasonable cost to maintainquality schools," explained Dr. Smith.
The money would be used to help with overcrowding in theschools.
Superintendent Smith said his top priority is making sure hisstudents have the tools they need to learn in school. He said ifthis referendum fails, the district would have to make drasticcuts, "Without our referendum, we're going to be cutting at least60 teachers and more at a time where we're growing by 800 studentsper year."
Lacey Robinson is a teacher in Hamilton Southeastern's schooldistrict as well as a parent with two children in a HSE school.
"I think that's scary; especially if your child is strugglingand the teacher has a lot of kids that are struggling. She's notgoing to be able to spend as much time with them," Robinsonsaid.
Bill Wilson also has children in the school district. He saidthis is not a good time for the school referendum, "It's a greatschool district. I have great things to say about it, but you knoweverybody's gotta watch their pennies and figure out what they aregoing to do long term."
"This is about children. It's about great teachers and it'sabout maintaining class sizes that allow us to keep the educationalexcellence we've been able to establish over the past severalyears," said Dr. Smith.
In the spring of this year, HSE cut more than three milliondollars of expenses for the 2009-2010 school year to help withtheir project budget deficit.
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