Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the 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 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.
How long will the referendum 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. Funds will appear on your 2021 property tax bill. To learn know the impact of this project on your property taxes, click here for the Tax Calculator.
There has been a lot of conversation about the pool facilties at Lawrence Central and Lawrence North. Where can I get more information?
Click here to view the February 2020 community forum presentations on the proposed options for aquatics facilties for the MSD of Lawrence Township.
Click here to view the February 26, 2020 Community Forum on aquatics facilities in the MSD of Lawrence Township.
Where can I get more information about this Referendum?
Click here for the Tax Calculator to learn the 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 projects at the schools impacted.
Click here to learn more about our enrollment forecast.
Click here to learn more about our Blue Ribbon Facilities plan.