NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - Voters have approved a 6.25 million dollar referendum for mental health, safety programs and retaining and recruiting Noblesville Schools teachers.
The plan received 13,868 yes votes to 10,030 no votes in Tuesday's election
A large part of the money would focus on mental health.
The school wants to screen students for suicide, anger and trauma. It wants to add a district mental health coordinator, 10 social workers, additional counselors and a mentoring program.
The referendum proposed by the superintendent is double one that was passed in 2016. If passed, the referendum would replace the one approved by voters two years ago and provide funding through 2026. That means taxes would go up in the district if voters pass the measure. For example, if your home is worth $150,000, you would be paying more than $240 a year, up from the current $120.
“The referendum we passed in 2016 was about maintaining the status quo of our staffing, programming and services, and was a 10.5% reduction in the tax rate,” said Dr. Beth Niedermeyer, superintendent of Noblesville Schools. “This referendum is asking the community to support an increase in funding so we can address school safety and mental health enhancements, as well as teacher recruiting/retention needs.”
When it was approved, the school district said it wanted to use the extra money for safety and mental health programs after the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School. The funding from the expanded referendum would help pay for adding school resource officers, safety staff, mental health counseling staff, facility modifications, and additional technology tools among other items, the district has said.
Official statement from Dr. Beth Neidermeyer on the operating referendum win:
"On behalf of all our employees, I want to enthusiastically thank the community for supporting the operating referendum for Noblesville Schools. The measure in favor of Noblesville Schools passed by a margin of 59%.
This additional referendum funding will allow us to retain and recruit high-quality staff, enhance mental health services to students, and increase safety staff and equipment.
We take the role of managing this funding seriously and are committed to making responsible financial decisions that are aligned with our interests of providing students the best education experience possible in safe and supportive environments.
Thank you also to those who actively supported the Miller YES campaign. There were more than 60 community meetings hosted, over 8,000 campaign calls made, generous donations given, yard signs proudly displayed, a website developed, frequent social media activity and more. For all this, we owe a debt of gratitude to our political action committee leadership, volunteers and community supporters.
We appreciate the community for entrusting us with their support and look forward to the work we have ahead of us educating the future of Noblesville."
Click here to view her video message thanking those who supported the referendum.