We're learning more about Vigo County School's Referendum

Vigo County Superintendent presented the state of the schools to Terre Haute City Council tonight. It's so the council can learn more about what's affecting the city.

Posted: Aug 8, 2019 10:42 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2019 10:08 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- Thursday night at the Terre Haute city council meeting Superintendent Dr. Rob Haworth told the council about the issues Vigo County School Corporation is facing and what they need to help fix it.

It's something we've been reporting on for the past few months. VCSC is putting an operational referendum on your ballots this November.

Monday, Haworth presented to the council why they need that referendum and where that money will be going and those are numbers we haven't seen until tonight.

"I hope that we can continue the type of collaboration and sharing of information, sharing of projects as we move forward," Haworth said. "I think that type of collaboration is what works in 2020."

Here is the break down of where that money will end up.

$260,000 would go toward health costs, like nurses. Something the school has doubled since 2015. 

$588,000 would go toward counselors. The school has increased counselors by 40% since 2014.

$300,000 would go toward behavior interventionists. This is a newer position. The position helps children develop social skills, improve learning in school and help with negative or disruptive behavior. VCSC has added 18 of these since 2015.

$3 million of the referendum would cover teacher compensation. This will help the school become more appealing to teachers around the state and country who are looking for jobs. Haworth said their starting salary isn't competitive and they don't recognize service which is why they're losing teachers. With this money from the referendum, it will help recruit and retain them.

$1.4 million would go towards safety. After Sandy Hook, the corporation beefed up its security and added Student Protection Officers in every school.

Another $1 million of the referendum would go toward transportation. The school is getting an audit on their transportation to help get more efficient routes, but because of tax caps, the schools have had to subsidize its transportation costs. 

"As a concerned citizen and I have a couple of granddaughters moving back here soon so, of course, I'm very interested in what happens with the schools," Martha Crossen, Terre Haute City Council President said. "I've always been interested in that. I think we cannot be a healthy community if we don't have healthy schools and the schools can't be healthy if they don't have the money that they need to operate."

Haworth presented to the council because they asked him to come to speak. So, this was strictly an informational presentation.

Crossen said they want to always learn more about things going on and affecting the city and the school system is one of those things.

Haworth said if the corporation continues on this track and they take no action the district will be in the red by January of 2021, but Haworth said they will take action to avoid that at all costs.

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