School officials look at referendum possibilities to enhance school safety

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– This week alone, school leaders in Noblesville, Greenfield and Westfield held school safety forums with parents. It shows the concern and focus officials across the state are placing on the issue, especially after the shooting in Noblesville last month.

“We just want to be part of everything and hear what’s going on with the safety,” said Noblesville parent Christie Hurst.

And that may include taxpayer buy-in. When unveiling a new safety plan this week, school officials in Noblesville said while they will seek additional funding options through state and federal grants, the school may also ask taxpayers to support a referendum.

“Nothing’s free,” said Lindsay Lewis, a parent in Indianapolis who broadly supports the idea. “It’s not like the days when I went to elementary school.”

School officials are also awaiting a wide-ranging set of school safety recommendations due to Gov. Eric Holcomb by Aug. 1. The collaboration includes numerous state agencies like the Department of Education, Indiana State Police, Family and Social Services Administration and Homeland Security.

“Everything does cost money so you’re right, that’s an option we’re looking at,” said Adam Baker, press secretary for the Indiana Department of Education. “Some of our recommendations are how do we look at existing funding and open it up because districts are saying there is funding available but not for the purposes we need it.”

Holcomb initially ordered the review after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.