Smith-Green Community Schools asking voters to approve operating levy

Smith-Green Community Schools in Churubusco is asking voters to approve an operating levy so the district can continue to offer all the current programs.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 10:38 PM
Updated: May 10, 2018 11:19 AM

CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (WFFT) - Voters living in parts of Noble and Whitley Counties will decide the future of one local school.

Smith-Green Community Schools in Churubusco is asking voters to approve an operating levy so the district can continue to offer all the current programs.

The referendum has the town split, with signs supporting and opposing the levy.

People are voting no because they don't want to pay more taxes. People are voting yes because they don't want to see programs disappear.

Smith-Green Community Schools has a proposed operating referendum on the ballot May 8.

The district said if the measure is approved, it will cost property owners in the district about an extra $30 a month.

That's money Jerico Sanders said her family doesn't have.

"It's just too much. I think it's $800 more a year, and we have to pay that on both properties," said Sanders.

However, Dannetta Fischer said she's afraid of the consequences for her middle school student if the levy fails.

"I don't want her to have to make new friends and start over in another school. We're four blocks away from the school," said Fischer.

Superintendent Daniel Hile says closing the k-12 school isn't a possibility right now, but could be down the road.

Hile said the district has been losing money since the state changed the way schools are funded, tying tax dollars to students.

In fact, the district has been making cuts in the central office, support staff, even supplies and the utility bills.

Now, Hile said the only option is in the classroom.

"The potential will be there that class sizes will increase, certain academic programs may be lost simply because we can no longer have someone to teach the course," Hile said.

For Fischer, that's what makes Churubusco High School special.

"It's a small town school. You've got all the kids in town going to the same place, they all know each other," said Fischer.

But Sanders has a different solution to make up for the shortfall.

"I wish they could do something else. Maybe do some fundraising or something to make the money instead of making the taxes higher," said Sanders.

The district is having an informational meeting about the referendum Monday at Green Center.

It starts at 7 p.m.

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