Noblesville residents to vote on school safety, mental health referendum in November
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Residents of Noblesville will vote on a referendum in November that would replace an existing referendum passed in 2016.
Officials say the expanded referendum would provide Noblesville Schools with increased funding for school safety, mental health and recruiting/retaining top teaching staff.
If approved, the operating referendum tax rate would go from 18.9 cents to 37 cents.
“The referendum we passed in 2016 was about maintaining the status quo of our staffing, programming and services, and was a 10.5% reduction in the tax rate,” said Dr. Beth Niedermeyer, superintendent of Noblesville Schools. “This referendum is asking the community to support an increase in funding so we can address school safety and mental health enhancements, as well as teacher recruiting/retention needs.”
The district says it had some safety enhancements identified before the middle school shooting that injured a teacher and student in May, but it’s now looking to provide even greater prevention and protection measures, including the addition of school resource officers, safety staff, mental health counseling staff, facility modifications, additional technology tools and more.
The district also noted that the state’s teacher shortage continues to make recruiting and retaining talented teaching staff a significant challenge.
“As the teacher shortage continues to intensify and as other area school districts have recently increased teacher compensation, we must do the same or we will continue to lose talented staff to other districts and the private sector,” added Niedermeyer. “Strong teachers are the most important factor for student growth and academic excellence.”