We, the Trustees of Wawasee Community Schools, put a referendum on the November ballot during one of the most unprecedented times in world history. It has been one of the most difficult decisions this board has had to make. Conversations were started in February regarding the need for a referendum to be coupled with a new four-year strategic plan to increase student achievement, job training and safety for our students.
At this time, up to 14.5 cents per $100 was discussed as an appropriate amount. When we were plagued with Covid-19 and our state was locked down, we were quickly informed by state leaders to expect budget cuts that would affect the Education Fund, the only fund that can be used for the direct instruction of students. The ballot question was due for approval by mid-July, and the decision to add an additional 14 cents in the event of Covid-19 budget cuts was made.
It was not until September 1st that Governor Holcomb assured schools that all students, even virtual students, would be fully funded. By then, the question was already on the ballot. With the promise from Governor Holcomb that school funding will not be cut due to Covid-19, this board will promise the community that if the referendum passes, the additional 14 cents will not be added nor needed if these funding cuts don’t occur.
Although these are unprecedented times, we have still been charged with the responsibility of continuing the education of nearly 3,000 students, many of whom have been forced to learn behind the glow of a computer screen.
Your teachers, staff and administration at Wawasee Community Schools have worked tirelessly through grants that will be discontinued next year to target the social and emotional learning of students, and the results can be found after Wawasee High School boasted an 96.9% graduation rate last year, up nearly 11% from 2017. As your elected officials, this board has maintained the lowest school tax rate in the state three out of
the last five years.
Now, we are asking you to partner with us, our teachers, staff and students in making
Wawasee Community School Corporation the premier learning environment in the state of Indiana. Before you vote, please take a moment to learn more, including the use of a tax impact calculator, at YesforWawasee.com. Our children deserve it.
Your community partners in education,
Mary Lou Dixon-Member