The following are some questions that have been raised.  If an answer has been provided it is included with the question.  If you have a question that you feel would be useful to raise, please submit it with your email on the contact page form.

1Q Why is Noblesville Schools having a referendum vote?
1A Noblesville Schools has proposed an expanded operating referendum that will be voted on by the Noblesville community on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

This expanded referendum would provide Noblesville Schools with increased funding for:

• Mental Health Staff & Initiatives
• Safety Staff & Equipment
• Recruiting and Retaining High Quality Teachers & Staff

The referendum that we passed in 2016 was about maintaining the status quo of our staffing, programming and services, and was a reduction in the tax rate. 2016 referendum dollars have been spent to maintain 150 staff positions and programming in art, music, physical education, STEM, media services and more. Funds are also being used to cover some transportation expenses.

This referendum is asking the community to support an increase in funding to provide increased resources for mental health and school safety. It will also provide funding for additional teacher compensation to better attract and retain top teaching staff.

The current referendum rate is 18.9 cents and the proposed rate is 37 cents. This would raise $6.25 million/year for eight years. Since 2009, the district has lost $46.5 million in funding.

For a median Noblesville home valued at $206,000 this means $15 more a month.

This new referendum would replace the existing one and would provide funding through 2026.

53% of referendum funding would be spent on mental health and safety staff, equipment and initiatives, while 47% would be spent on recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff.

Referendum funding would be spent as follows:

Mental Health Staff and Initiatives
• Screenings for students for suicide, anger, trauma, etc.
• One district mental health coordinator
• Ten social workers
• Staff for alternative education program: one director, one social worker, two teachers, school resource officer
• Two deans for middle schools
• Three teachers for English language learners
• Two additional elementary school counselors
• Mentoring program

Safety Staff & Equipment
• Eight additional school resource officers to cover every school (50% of funding, City of Noblesville will cover other 50%)
• Funding for additional/overtime school resource officer staffing to cover security for approximately 10,000 evening/weekend/large events a year.
• One full time district safety director
• One AV/camera technician to manage security camera surveillance
• Enhanced communication technology system
• Specially trained gun detection dogs for each school
• Enhanced video systems on 100+ buses
• Increased bus security and bus driver professional development for 100+ buses/drivers
• Door barricading products for 1,500 classrooms and offices
• Increased facility lockdown tools for 10 schools
• Additional security camera equipment for 10 schools
• Additional teaching staff for middles/high school due to large class sizes and facility capacity

Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality Teachers & Staff
• Strong teachers are the most important factor in academic success & student connections
• Goal is to provide salaries that are competitive with other area districts so we can recruit and retain top-quality teaching staff
• Teachers are leaving Noblesville because of salary
• In some cases, Noblesville teachers are earning $10,000 less than comparable teachers in neighboring districts
• Teacher compensation will be bargained with the Noblesville Teachers’ Forum, the exclusive union representative of our teachers

[Editor’s Note:  See the Details page of this site for a more specific breakdown of amounts for each category]

2Q How is Noblesville Schools spending the current referendum money?
2A The 2016 referendum was about maintaining status quo for staffing/programming and was a reduction in the tax rate.

Since 2009, Noblesville Schools has lost $46.5 million in funding.

The 2016 operating referendum funds are being spent on staff salaries and curricular programming to help Noblesville Schools maintain academic excellence.

Specifically, 2016 referendum dollars have been spent to maintain 150 staff positions and programming in art, music, physical education, STEM, media services and more. Funds are also being used to cover some transportation expenses

[Editor’s Note:  See The 2016 Referendum Page on this site for a more specific and detailed itemization of how the 2016 Referendum monies are being spent.]

3Q If the referendum passes, how will the additional funds be spent?
3A 53% of referendum funding would be spent on mental health and safety staff, equipment and initiatives, while 47% would be spent on recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff.

Referendum funding would be spent as follows:

Mental Health Staff and Initiatives
• Screenings for students for suicide, anger, trauma, etc.
• One district mental health coordinator
• Ten social workers
• Staff for alternative education program: one director, one social worker, two teachers, school resource officer
• Two deans for middle schools
• Three teachers for English language learners
• Two additional elementary school counselors
• Mentoring program

Safety Staff & Equipment
• Eight additional school resource officers to cover every school (50% of funding, City of Noblesville will cover other 50%)
• Funding for additional/overtime school resource officer staffing to cover security for approximately 10,000 evening/weekend/large events a year.
• One full time district safety director
• One AV/camera technician to manage security camera surveillance
• Enhanced communication technology system
• Specially trained gun detection dogs for each school
• Enhanced video systems on 100+ buses
• Increased bus security and bus driver professional development for 100+ buses/drivers
• Door barricading products for 1,500 classrooms and offices
• Increased facility lockdown tools for 10 schools
• Additional security camera equipment for 10 schools
• Additional teaching staff for middles/high school due to large class sizes and facility capacity

Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality Teachers & Staff
• Strong teachers are the most important factor in academic success & student connections
• Goal is to provide salaries that are competitive with other area districts so we can recruit and retain top-quality teaching staff
• Teachers are leaving Noblesville because of salary
• In some cases, Noblesville teachers are earning $10,000 less than comparable teachers in neighboring districts
• Teacher compensation will be bargained with the Noblesville Teachers’ Forum, the exclusive union representative of our teachers

[Editor’s Note:  See the Details page on this site for a more itemized list of the specific funds planned for each category.]

4Q Although the breakdown you have provided offers more details on the relative amounts for each category it does not break those amounts down to the specific items.  Presumably those numbers exist or a total could not have been determined.  Can those be provided?  If not, what is the reasoning behind continuing to mask them?
4A
5Q One of the hidden problems with a rate-based tax like the Referendum being proposed is that it assumes a certain base on which the rate is applied. Since presumably Noblesville’s total assessed valuation is growing, doesn’t that mean that the amount of the tax increase in dollars is likely to exceed the stated $6.25 Million per year?
5A
6Q Why have Hamilton County schools generally needed operating referendum relief while other area schools with similar make up and performance characteristics have not?
6A
7Q It is rumored that some organizations — like HSE — outsource their mental health and counseling to professional organizations set up for such activities like Fairbanks or Community Hospital.  Was this considered and what would the cost have been versus amounts included for additional headcount and administration of these internally?
7A
8Q
8A