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SBCSB approves referendum; Now they need 500 signatures to get it on the ballot

NOW: SBCSB approves referendum; Now they need 500 signatures to get it on the ballot

SOUTH BEND, Ind. The South Bend School Board approved plans Monday to get a crucial referendum on the ballot in the spring.

The referendum is seeking to raise close to $75 million for the school district that’s already lost millions because of restrictions from a state law.

Now that they have the board’s approval, the challenge is actually getting the referendum on the ballot. To do that, the school corporation needs to collect 500 signatures by December 16th from homeowners or registered voters within the limits of the school corporation.

South Bend Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings is confident they can get it down.

 “We’re going to be knocking on doors, we’re going to be where the people are, going to go to the mall, the news, talks with Todd, we’re going to be using our students, we’re going to get our signatures,” Cummings said.

The money generated from the proposed referendum would go towards the corporation’s facilities and operations.  

A state law that places caps on property taxes has already cost the corporation to lose close to $70 million and in 2020; they’re set to lose another $12 million.

If voters approve the referendum in May, property taxes will increase by 39 cents for every 100$ of assessed value. Something Kareemah Fowler, South Bend School’s Chief Financial Officer, said is going to be crucial for the corporation.

“We’re just not in a position to lose $12 million right now and the impact of that only gets worse as the years go on,” Fowler said.  “The reality is if this thing doesn’t pass, it’s going to be bleak for our school system and our students and our community at large.”

Anyone who lives within the school corporation’s limits, who would like to sign the referendum, can email Fowler at kfowler@sb.school to do so.

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