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Elkhart schools want more money from taxpayers

By James Fillmore
Published On: Dec 17 2013 05:14:22 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 17 2013 06:32:59 PM CST

The superintendent talks about some of the things that would be improved if the community passes a referendum.

ELKHART, Ind. -

Elkhart Community Schools hopes to get some help from taxpayers when it comes to funding things on its to do list.

How much is still to be determined but the superintendent says the money will go a long way.

Voters in Mishawaka recently voted down a school referendum but the Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools seems to think that the community will see the value in making some changes.

The school board voted in favor of having a public hearing on January 6.

The referendum would be broken up into two questions.

The first would involve transportation.

Currently some kids who live within two miles from school have to walk.

The district has fewer than 100 buses and could lose more over budget concerns.

If this referendum were to pass it may help with all of these things for seven years and part of that is using buses more efficiently.

Dr. Robert Haworth says, "How do we make sure that students aren't getting on the bus before 6:30? Which they are some today. How do we make sure students aren't getting on the bus after 5:30? Something we've had to do." 

The second question would ask taxpayers to pay for a variety of projects including school safety.

The district recently did a security audit of all of its buildings and the referendum would help pay for more cameras among other things.

The superintendent says, "How do you adjust the entryway to your school system to take a safe school and make it safer? or if your building needs better lighting." 

Building improvements are another part of the district's wish list.

The superintendent says the referendum could put a new roof on some schools.

Elkhart would also like to put money into renovating two, 40-year-old swimming pools.

Several people we spoke to say they are against the referendum or at least parts of it like money for the pools but one man who is from Elkhart believes education is undervalued so he doesn't mind paying more for better schools.

Jim Roberts says, "I'm all for the other improvements with the busing. I think the kids need access to that to get to school and not have to walk and any repairs that need to be made I'm all for that."