Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the Upcoming Lawrence Township Schools Referendum
How many students does the MSD of Lawrence Township serve?
16,035 students are served daily.
Didn’t we just do a referendum?
No, the Lawrence Township Schools have never asked taxpayers to support a referendum.
Why have we not done one in the past?
We are in a strong financial position. Due to outstanding fiscal management and a commitment “to doing more with less,” we have not had to seek additional funding from taxpayers.
Why do we need one now?
Despite being financial solvent, laws have changed regarding construction projects of this magnitude, and require public approval. We must address facility needs for our Elementary & High Schools. We have $50M in needed Heating/AC, Electric, and Plumbing upgrades. Needed upgrades for the two high schools total $161M.
Have other area school districts sought support from their taxpayers through a referendum?
Yes. Every school district surrounding the MSD of Lawrence Township has successfully pursued a capital and/or operating referendum.
How will the referendum funding be used?
The money will be used to address facility needs at Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School, Brook Park Elementary, Forest Glen Elementary, Oaklandon Elementary, Winding Ridge Elementary, and our four Early Learning Centers.
Issues to Address:
- Replace/upgrade HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems
- Replace roofs
- Resurface parking lots
- Update cafeterias/kitchens
- Added security features to main entrances and throughout buildings, including expanded security camera systems
- Updates to all classrooms and hallways to accommodate current and future curricular needs
- Renovate science labs
- Provision of flexible learning spaces, including updated and expanded areas for performing arts
- Addition of multiple entrances/exits to the properties to separate bus and parent traffic
Note: While renovation work has been done at both high schools (stadiums, etc.), the scope of work needed in both buildings is well beyond district bonding capability. Additionally, construction projects exceeding $15M require a public question.
Why are the two middle schools not included in the proposed projects?
The two middle schools will be renovated in 2023. These two projects can be completed with bonding money. The scope of this work is not the size and dollar amount of the work needed at the two high schools.
I have read a lot about teacher pay in the news. Do any of the proposed funds go towards additional pay for teachers?
They do not. The district has been able to provide annual raises to staff above state funding increases over the past five years, and plan to continue that trajectory. Teacher salaries are paid through the Education/General fund, independent of operations.
The locally elected Board of Education has charged district leadership with maintaining a cash balance in the Education/General Fund of $10M. Education and Operations funds are completely independent of one another. The district is not in need of additional financial support to maintain competitive staff salaries.
Why should I support this referendum if I do not have school age children?
Strong schools translate to strong property values. Families will often choose the location of their next home based on where their children will go to school. A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research titled "Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending," found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased by $20.
If the Referendum passes, how long will it be reflected on my tax bill?
Funds will be collected over the course of twenty years at a rate of $0.2499 per $100 of assessed valuation. To learn know the proposed impact of this project on your property taxes, click here
How will the question be worded on the November 5th ballot?
The question will read:
"Shall the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, Marion County, Indiana, issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the 2019 HS/ES/ELC Facility Improvement Project which includes expansion, restoration and renovation work at both existing high schools, four elementary schools and four existing early learning centers and which is estimated to cost not more than $191,000,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by $0.2499 per $100 of assessed valuation?"
Where can I get more information about this Referendum?
To learn know the proposed impact of this project on your property taxes, click here
To learn more about our school finances and using tax dollars wisely, click here
To learn more about the proposed projects at the schools impacted, click here
To learn more about our enrollment forecast, click here
To learn more about our Blue Ribbon Facilites plan, click here