Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Upcoming Wayne Township Schools Referendum

Why do we need a referendum to support our Wayne Township Schools?

With 16,484 students enrolled, 13,400 meals served and buses that drive 7,000 miles each school day, we need substantial support to operate our Wayne Township Schools.  Unfortunately, state funding has been reduced by $103 million since 2009. In addition, state funding has not kept pace with inflation. The members of the Indiana General Assembly mandated that school referendums are the only way to secure the funding needed to adequately support existing programs in our schools.

What does this referendum say?

You and other residents have the chance to chart the future of Wayne Township and our Wayne Township School District by voting on May 7th, 2018.  When you go to vote, the language on the ballot states:

“For the eight calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township impose a property tax rate that does not exceed thirty-five cents ($0.35) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property taxes imposed by the school corporation for the purpose of maintaining daily educational operations, improving student safety and school security, and recruiting and retaining classroom teachers?”

Are Wayne Township Schools the only school district to ask for support via a referendum?  

No, in fact every school district in Marion County has either held a referendum and/or plans to hold one in 2019.  Outside of Marion County, voters in Avon and Center Grove have approved referendums to support their schools.

Didn’t we just vote for a referendum a few years ago?

Yes, residents of our district overwhelmingly supported our last referendum in 2015.  Those funds have been used to recruit and retain outstanding teachers and staff. Without that support, we would have been forced to make substantial cuts that would have impacted our classrooms.

I have lived here for over twenty years and my kids are no longer in school. Why should I support a school referendum?

Studies by realtors and homebuilders demonstrate that the value of homes in a school district is directly related to the quality of schools.  By having the funding necessary to support our classrooms and offering quality programs, we are making Wayne Township a place for future residents to call home.  That means a better opportunity to increase the value of homes. In fact, the average value of a home in Wayne Township has increased from $87,300 to $91,800 in the last few years.

What has been the result of additional funding for Wayne Township Schools?

We are very fortunate to have outstanding staff.  We are home to two (2) Elementary School Principals of the Year; two (2) Middle School Principals of the Year; the state’s Chief Technology Leader of the Year; the Council of Exceptional Children Advocate of the Year; three (3) nominees who finished in the top 10 for Indiana Teacher of the Year; the School Psychologist of the Year; the Career Technical Administrator of the Year; the Hoosier Legion High School Educator of the Year; the Ed Tech Trailblazer of the Year; and the Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Best of the Best Award winner. In addition, our Superintendent was selected as 2019 Indiana Superintendent of the Year and one of four (4) finalists for National Superintendent of the Year from among thirteen thousand (13,000) potential applicants.

What have you done to make sure that students are safe in school?

We make student and school safety a priority every day.  We have improved our communications systems and expanded them to include multiple language translations; enhanced video security with improved access for law enforcement, school resource officers, and administrators; upgraded visitor kiosks in entryways to prequalify and tag visitors; improved doorway security; and purchased software to increase staff emergency preparedness and securing students.

Funds from the proposed referendum will ensure that we have the adequate staffing levels to ensure the safety of our 16,484 students.  Funding will also be used to provide upgrades to the systems mentioned earlier.

What has been the return on our investment in the Wayne Township Schools?

We never stop in our efforts to prepare our students for the educational, employment and public service options after graduation.  First please note that our graduation numbers continue to increase, with 92% of our students graduating (about 1,145 students). Second, we have implemented increasingly challenging curriculum (Advance Placement, Project Lead The Way, and Dual Credit).  Third, we increased Advanced Placement course enrollments from 750 to 3,302. Fourth, we have increased dual credits earned to 6,087. That means that families will save $2.5 million in college tuition costs.

In addition, our students used $15,870,733 in scholarship money to defray the costs of college and/or job training upon graduation.  Those investments will help prepare this and future generations for the challenges of the future.

What have you done to save money?

We continue to look for more ways to “do more with less” while not negatively impacting the classroom.  For example, we have made energy efficient upgrades in all our buildings that have resulted in substantial energy savings.  We are developing the largest solar farm on a public-school campus that will result in clean energy use to power our facilities and to protect the environment.  We have made substantial improvements to our heating, venting and air conditioning systems to reduce costs. We have replaced windows throughout our buildings to save taxpayer dollars.  And we are using propane to power many of our school buses. Our financial management team has incentivized staffers to find additional innovative ways to save all of us tax dollars.

Are we getting our kids ready for the jobs of the future?

Yes, we have active Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Curriculum throughout our schools, with more STEM certified schools than any other district in the state. In addition, our partnership at our Area 31 Career Center has resulted in students building four homes for residents in our community and, more importantly, receiving hands-on training for the jobs of the future.

Are you doing anything to involve the community in our schools?

Yes! Our HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) Program involves over one thousand (1,000) mentors in 2018-19.  These mentors helped 6,238 students last year. Thanks to the 30,000 hours volunteered by these community residents, our reading levels increased, students are reading more than ever before, and the partnership now in its 17th year continues to grow.  

In addition, we continue to hold public meetings on a regular basis to receive input from you and other residents about our school district.  To learn more, please call Superintendent Jeff Butts at 317-988-8604.

Once again, when is the election on this issue?

The primary election that will chart the course of our community will be held on May 7th, 2019.  With the newly-instituted Vote Centers, you can vote at any polling location in Marion County.  As we get closer, we will provide updates on those locations.