Support Our Schools
Support Our Schools, a citizen group formed in response to the funding crisis in public schools, will host a rally to generate support for local schools on April 10. The rally will take place on the steps of City Hall at 12:30 p.m. All members of the community are invited to attend.
The rally will focus on recruiting volunteers for a drive to pass a school funding referendum in November, said Duane Busick, a member of the group. The referendum would restore funding for local schools that was lost due to state-imposed cuts. Also at the rally, organizers will highlight a fund-raising campaign to support school programs and staffing until the funds generated from the referendum become available, in 2011.
"We must act now to re-establish local control of our schools."
The rally will feature performances by school and community musicians, statements on what is being done to end this crisis, organized children's activities and a family parade on the B-Line Trail.
The Monroe County Community School Corporation lost $5.8 million and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. $728,000 from their 2010 budgets, largely because of the 2008 state property tax reform that shifted most school funding from property taxes to income and sales tax. Property tax revenue is locally generated and controlled, and for many years it provided a stable funding source for Indiana's public schools.
Income and sales tax, which are collected and disbursed at the state level, are dependent on the health of the economy. The recent recession depleted income and sales tax revenues and therefore the amount of funding available to public schools.
The number of children in the public schools does not rise and fall with the economy, and we must act now to re-establish local control of our schools because high-quality public education means good jobs for our children and more jobs in Monroe County, and it protects our property values, Busick said.
State funding for local schools is expected to be cut again in 2011 and 2012, according to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who initially proposed the property tax reform passed by the State Legislature.
For more information, contact Duane Busick at email@example.com or 812.336-8329 or visit the Support Public Education in Monroe County Facebook page.