While some minor changes may be made to the final language, here is Marions United's proposed one mill referendum. The proposal, if passed by voters this November, would help meet class size standards, put certified teachers and assistants back into the classroom, and restore essential programs. The Marion County School board will vote on this proposal at their Tuesday, January 14th meeting:
Shall the Marion County School District’s ad valorem millage be increased by a total of one mill, beginning July 1, 2015, and ending four years later on June 30, 2019, for necessary operating expenses including reading, physical education, art, music, library/media, and vocational programs; meet class size requirements; and retain certified teachers and assistants, with oversight of these expenditures by an independent citizens financial oversight committee?
Some key highlights of the referendum:
- Raise $14 million annually for four years. Following approval by voters in November 2014, this additional investment would begin July 1, 2015 and end June 30, 2019. The school board may decide to send the referendum back to the voters for renewal in 2018.
- Reduce class size and put full-time, certified teachers and assistants back into the classroom. Marion County now tragically leads the state in violating voter-approved class size standards. Our referendum commits funding to reduce class size by hiring more full-time, certified teachers. We also call for restoring vital teacher assistant positions that were cut last year.
- Restore essential programs that have been cut deeply. Our referendum commits funding to help restore reading, art, music, library/media, physical education (PE), and vocational programs. In too many of these areas, teachers are sharing schools and students aren't receiving the well-rounded education they deserve.
- Be accountable to the people of Marion County. Our referendum finally calls for the creation of an independent citizens financial oversight committee to watch over these funds. The group would serve as an advisory committee with members appointed by the school board and be charged with reporting to the public on how the funds are being invested.
The referendum's language is the result of input from community organizations, parents, teachers, all five school board members, and Superintendent Tomyn.
See you there!