Despite voting down tax referendum, voters say Greater Clark Sch - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Despite voting down tax referendum, voters say Greater Clark Schools still need improvements

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) – On Tuesday, voters in Clark County voted in resounding fashion to quash a move to bring in millions of extra tax dollars to improve school buildings.

“I love my community schools,” said Donna Spence who voted, “I think they do a great job. We just need a sounder way of going about funding that.”

Seventy-four percent of voters said no to the measure.

The plan would have built new buildings for Wilson Elementary School, Parkwood Elementary School and Jonathan Jennings Elementary School, as well as renovate North Haven Elementary School, River Valley Middle School, Parkview Middle School and Charlestown Middle School. 

“My son and my daughters have gone to a middle school that’s 50-years-old” said Scott Gardner who voted for the referendum, “Over time we need invest in our community and invest in our schools.”

The increase in property tax would have totaled $109.2 million for those building renovations and new construction for the system.

Fifteen of Clark County’s 20 schools are in need of upgrades, Superintendent Andy Melin previously told WDRB News.

“I respect the community and their votes, but we’re obviously very disappointed with the outcome," Melin said in a statement Tuesday night. "We worked very hard to educate the voters about the problems with some our facilities, and the cost to fix those issues which allowed them to make an informed decision about the proposed tax increase. Our facility challenges are not going away, so we will have to facilitate extensive community-based discussions to find a resolution that the voters will be able to support in the future.”

Voters said they were surprised by the margin of the vote Tuesday night.

“I thought it would be a little bit closer but I really thought it would be defeated because it was too much,” Spence said.

A spokesperson for Greater Clark County Schools said on Wednesday, the superintendent will meet with cabinet staff and discuss next steps in the next several weeks.

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