Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about the Upcoming Danville Community Schools Referendum
How many students does DCSC serve?
We serve over 2,500 students daily.
Didn’t we just do a referendum?
No, Danville Community Schools have never asked taxpayers to support a referendum.
Why have we not done one in the past?
We maintain a strong financial position by doing more with less. Therefore, we have not had to seek additional funding from taxpayers.
I heard there are two referendums. Is that right? Why do we need both now?
Yes, Danville Community School Corporation is pursuing both a capital referendum and an operational referendum. These will be separated into two questions on your ballot. The revenues received must be deposited into two separate funds. Capital revenues may only be used for facility project needs. Operational revenues may only be spent on needs such as transportation and safety, as well as teacher and support staff salaries.
Despite the school corporation’s financial solvency, the average lifespan for an institutional building without major renovations in 40 years and the average lifespan for major systems such as roofs, chillers and boilers is 20 years. Three of our facilities are significantly exceeding those timelines and many of those major systems have reached their end of life expectancy. The school corporation needs to make capital investments in the physical infrastructure of the school district so that our buildings can house students safely for years to come.
At Danville Schools, we put student needs first. It is vital that we maintain the quality of instructional staff for the success of our students. Over the past ten years, Danville Schools have lost $1.75 million per year of state revenues due to inflationary factors and funding losses. Danville Schools are in the bottom 12 percent of per pupil state funding as compared to other Indiana school corporations. These factors have contributed to a 33 percent turnover of our quality teaching staff in the last three years. An operational referendum provides a way for the community to overcome this deficit in funding and ensure the quality of education in our classrooms.
Why finance capital and operational needs with a referendum?
Recent changes in state law require school corporations undertaking capital projects of this type to pursue a voter referendum in order to collect the full property tax levy.
A referendum is the only way Indiana state law allows public school corporations to raise additional local property tax revenues for operational purposes.
Have other area school districts sought support from their taxpayers through a referendum?
Yes. Out of 298 public school corporations in the state of Indiana, 198 school referenda have been conducted since 2008. This includes schools here in Hendricks County.
How will the referendum funding be used?
The revenue will be used to address facility needs at Danville Community High School, Danville Community Middle School, South Elementary, and North Elementary including Little Warrior Learning Center preschool.
Which issues are you planning to address?
Some of the facility needs we currently have include:
Replace/upgrade HVAC, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems
Add security features to main entrances
Update classrooms and hallways to accommodate current and future curricular needs
Provide flexible learning spaces, including updated and expanded fine arts areas for band, choir and art
Add multiple entrances/exits to the properties to separate bus and parent traffic for safety
Ensure continuation of busing and transportation services
Retain quality teachers and support staff members
Improve entrance and classroom safety
Replace or update career and technical education (CTE) areas including agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and pre-engineering curricular areas
Replace portable walls systems at the high school for safety and educational benefits
Improve physical education and community use facilities, including softball, tennis and swimming
I have read a lot about teacher pay in the news. Do any of the proposed funds go towards additional pay for teachers?
Yes. The district has been able to provide annual raises to staff with state funding, but those funds have not been able to keep pace with inflation. Despite our high academic performance, Indiana’s funding formula places Danville Schools is in the bottom 12 percent of per pupil funding. This puts us in danger of not maintaining quality educators in the classrooms and not being competitive with other local school employers.
Is it going to be used for support staff?
Yes. Our team of classified staff members play a vital role in helping our students succeed. Classified staff members include classroom instructional assistants, special education aids, transportation personnel, school resource officers, secretaries, nurses, housekeeping, food services, maintenance and technology.
Will referendum revenues be used to increase administrator salaries?