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Avon considers school redistricting, could save $350k

AVON, Ind. (WISH) – Big decisions lie ahead for school leaders in Avon as they consider changes that could impact hundreds of families.

Superintendent Margaret Hoernemann said a task force of 28 parents, teachers, and administrators have been working since November to identify ways to improve efficiency through three areas: potential boundary adjustments for kindergarten through sixth grade, a review of school start and end times for all buildings, and the impact of those decisions on transportation services.

The adjustments could save an estimated $350,000 in transportation costs.

School leaders say the district needs to make adjustments after years of property tax caps and lost revenue.

“Since 2009 we have initiated many budget cuts and eliminated staff to keep up with reductions and finances from the state,” said school board president Anne Engelhardt.

Voters turned down a tax referendum a few years ago.

“We have to be efficient stewards of the taxpayers funds,” said Hoernemann. “So, before we ever go back to ask for more money, they have to be certain that we’ve used all of our funds efficiently.”

Task force members presented the potential changes to hundreds of parents, teachers and others during a public forum Monday night. Details on what the district is considering can be viewed online.

Michelle Madding has three children who would be impacted by the potential redistricting. She said it might be time to try another referendum.

“Maybe try that again before juggling up all of our kids and moving things around. That might be an option,” she said.

Administrators have offered an online survey for additional community input.

The school board will consider the options at a special meeting March 11.