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We need a new Silver Creek high school

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#1 Tina



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Posted 26 November 2014 - 09:17 AM



Assuming it passes, a referendum to improve facilities across the district for about $70 million for West Clark Community Schools would cost homeowners anywhere from $35.89 to $424.67 a year, starting in 2018.



West Clark is exploring a referendum to update facilities across the district, but the most dire need is at the Silver Creek schools. While enrollment increases mean more money in the district’s general fund, it also means more strain on how many students they can pack in a building.

Silver Creek High School is the biggest ticket item, whether the board decides to renovate or build a new facility. The current school is designed for 575 to 700 students. Its enrollment sits at about 900.


But in Indiana, referenda haven’t been the easiest idea to sell on taxpayers. Since 2009, less than half of referenda suggesting a boost in tax rate of more than 15 cents per $100 of assessed value have passed.


I do think Silver Creek High School needs an update and would vote in favor of a referendum.  But in a previous article the board mentioned something I hadn't thought of when considering an expansion for students outside our district: their parents do not pay the property taxes needed to expand.


Just one more thing for our state legislators to consider when re-writing the funding equations, in my opinion.


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#2 Beerguy



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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:47 AM

In a sense, they do pay their own property taxes, which then goes to the state, who then disperses the funds back to the schools.  West Clark has done well with transfers as it has pulled more money from the state, which has helped them pay for their yearly expenses, but these transfers have also inflated the population at all of the Silver Creek schools to the point of bursting.  I am fully behind a property tax referendum.  The high school has almost double the number of students it should have, the middle school is completely full, and you have a larger number of students coming up from the primary and elementary schools that will fill the higher schools that much more.  Add into that all of the substantial residential development that is popping up in the area, and things will just get worse.

A referendum like this will be tough to get through, as no one wants their taxes to go up.  But, bringing these schools up to code and improving the education of our kids is a dire necessity.  A change in how the state divvies out funding will help with the day to day operations, but will not build our area the facilities it needs.

#3 Tina



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Posted 09 December 2014 - 10:14 AM

I agree with all of that.  A new high school is definitely needed.


Yes, their parents pay taxes but the taxes the state sends that follow the students are meant for educating, not capital projects.  


I forget who, but someone on here likes to remind me that the taxes we pay the schools in the form of property taxes cannot go to teachers, etc - only capital projects and transportation.  Property taxes stay local - they don't go to the state first.  


So there needs to be smart growth.  I like that our school system is doing so well people want to send their kids to it.  I don't want to have to keep paying more in property taxes to continue to cover that growth though.  There does need to be a balance.

Edited by Tina, 09 December 2014 - 10:16 AM.

#4 IntegrityMatters


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Posted 09 December 2014 - 12:26 PM

Silver Creek (West Clark) will continue to grow. More and more students from Greater Clark are transferring every year. I would guess that the current scenario with the GCCS board will only encourage more parents to move their children.

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