Local legislators discuss possible Vigo County Schools referendum

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – To help a declining cash balance within Vigo County Schools, Superintendent Rob Haworth proposed a $7 million referendum and 4 million dollars in cuts to the schools’ operating costs.

According to State Representative Tonya Pfaff, this is a proposal that had to be made because of a lack of help in Indianapolis.

“We’re not giving enough money to public education and because of that, unfortunately, we have to do things like a referendum,” Pfaff said.

The referendum would help fund safety, health, wellness, and transportation.

It would also cover staffing, which Pfaff believes is important to prevent teachers in Vigo County from going elsewhere.

“If I’m a starting teacher in Vigo County and I look over at Marion County and I can make $5,000 more as a beginning teacher, guess where I’m going? The referendum, what it does, is a bigger picture of just putting more money back into our school system so that we can better educate our kids,” Pfaff said.

Senator Jon Ford says referendums like the one proposed by Haworth are not only being seen in Vigo County.

“What we’ve seen across the state, these referendums for the most part are passing but that have a lot of input from the community,” Ford said.

It’s the input from the community that Ford says is critical in finding a plan that can meet Vigo County Schools’ needs.

“Education is a huge economic driver and i think communities are realizing that and they’re wanting to be engaged in the process and help define what our public education is going to look like,” Ford said.
    
Pfaff says she believes there’s still work to do with assisting teachers and education across the state.
    
She plans to continue discussing this issue during the next legislative session

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