What is the school safety referendum?

The school safety referendum is a property tax referendum that will fund 3 types of safety initiatives in Carmel Clay schools over 8 years.

a.       Partner with the Carmel Police Department to hire 11-13 School Resource Officers. This will result in at least one highly trained and armed police officer assigned to every school in the district. Currently, the Middle and Elementary schools do NOT have a dedicated full-time SRO assigned. 3 SROs are shared between 14 schools

b.       Add mental health programs for students through contracted health services with outside partners, increase social worker pay, and add social workers and/or school counselors.

c.       Provide ongoing professional development for staff, students, and the community to improve safety and reduce violence.

Why is CCS seeking another referendum?


In the 2019 legislation session, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Bill 127, allowing school corporations to seek property tax referendums for school safety initiatives. This is a new type of referendum. Due to increasing incidents of school violence across the country and even in Hamilton county, along with alarming upward trends of students with anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation, Carmel Clay Schools feels it is imperative to add additional safety and mental health layers to our current safety programs. 

How much will the referendum cost me?

CCS is proposing no more than $.05 per $100 of assessed valuation.  This would generate a maximum of approximately $5 million dollars per year.

This chart gives an estimation of how much property taxes will increase for CCS homeowners (Note, the numbers are calculated including deductions like the Homestead credit, so it isn’t a simple calculation) :

Assessed Home Value Approximate Annual Increase in Taxes

$250,000 $65.13

$500,000 $146.38

$750,000 $232.88

For a better estimate, use this tax calculator link provided by the CCS School District:

https://www.ccs.k12.in.us/about/school-safety-referendum/tax-calculator

Does this replace previous referendums?

No. The school safety referendum will provide additional funding so that the district can continue to enhance school safety.

 

What do School Resource Officers Do?

SRO programs seek to “bridge the gap” between law enforcement and youth. SROs are commissioned police officers with additional training by the National Association of School Resource Officers. SROs are trained school safety experts and follow the TRIAD concept, serving as law enforcement, teacher, and informal counselor (mentor) in the school setting.

 

Why is CCS increasing Social Worker salaries?

Currently, CCS social worker salaries top out at a lower rate than in other districts. CCS will raise the social worker salaries to be competitive with area districts.

 

How does contracted mental health services work?

CCS will contract with local providers to have mental health therapists available in every school. Parents of students in need of support can choose these services and have their insurance billed. This initiative is designed to eliminate barriers to mental health services, so that it is easier for students in need to obtain services.

 

Does this referendum involve arming teachers?

No

 

When will the community vote on this referendum?

November 5, 2019

 

How do I register to vote?

Go to this website for information on how to register. The deadline to register for this election is October 7th.

https://www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/385/Register-to-Vote


 

How do I find my polling place?

Go to this website to find your polling place and for more information on how to register.

https://indianavoters.in.gov/

 

What will happen if the school safety referendum does not pass?

Our Middle and Elementary schools will continue to be vulnerable as they do not have full time SROs. Social workers will continue to leave the district as the pay scale does not increase at a competitive rate with area districts. The district will NOT be able to provide long-term funding for additional school resource officers, enhanced mental health services or on-going professional development training for students, staff, and the community to improve school safety.