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Perry Township referendum asks for more funding

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Voters in Perry Township have one week to decide whether to vote for a $50 million referendum to pay for a school expansion. Supporters say the schools need the money to fix their overcrowding problem.

The referendum vote has become the talk of Perry Township in recent weeks. Signs that say “Vote Yes” for Perry Schools have popped up all over the area. One of the campaign organizers said now that it’s down to the wire, he’s been focusing on putting up the signs and motivating voters to get to the polls.

The whole point of the $50 million referendum is to pay for an expansion, because the district says it has grown so quickly. Supporters of the tax hike say Perry Township has seen so much growth that it’s becoming unsafe for students.

They say there is not enough room for students in the main buildings, so some classes are left to learn in classroom trailers. That means if there’s a tornado, students are in trailers, not a brick building. If the referendum does not pass, the district says it may have to add dozens more trailers and make cuts to other programs next year.

“Do you invest in your schools or do you allow the trailers to come in and children to attend school in trailers and eliminate art and music classrooms. It’s going to be a tough decision for the community,” said Superintendent Tom Little.

24-Hour News 8 have talked to some people who do not support the referendum, saying they just don’t want to pay more in taxes.

Another referendum is also in play. The district is asking for $3 million for more bus drivers and custodians. If voters approve the referendum, the average homeowner will see a tax hike of $9.81 per month.

This is the second referendum in Perry Township over the last few years. In 2011, voters approved another tax hike for schools. The issue will be on the ballot May 5. You can learn more about the campaign here.