NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - Safer schools may be something everyone wants, but the tough decision for taxpayers may be how to pay for it.
It’s a big topic of discussion right now as New Albany/Floyd County Schools are looking at a possible school safety referendum that would raise taxes to pay for things like prevention services for kids to improving safety measures for school buildings.
We asked people if they would pay higher taxes to enhance school safety.
“I am against it, they’ve raised them and raised them," resident Starr Pavey said.
“I think it’s a good idea,” resident Dave Leist said. “I think we need safer schools.”
Others that are not for or against the issue yet want to know more about it.
Resident Virginia Blankenship told us, “I’d like to know what exactly it is they are putting the money toward, but I’m all for more school safety.”
Helping answer questions on the issue Friday morning was Superintendent Dr. Brad Snyder. The tab with frequently asked questions, part of the 2020 Safety Referendum district site is now up and running. It can also show taxpayers what it will cost at 8.5 cents per $100 dollars of assessed value.
“For a $100,000 home and a 8.5 cent levy would generate an annual cost about $27 dollars, or $2.25 a month,” Snyder explained.
Lawmakers added the ability to add the question on the ballot following last year’s school shooting in Noblesville, Indiana. The spending would be preventative and proactive; from more security cameras and security technology to possibly adding more school resource officers.
For example: S. Ellen Jones Elementary in New Albany has a resource officer but that officer is shared with another school. Also at the same school, they could use more fencing around the playground. It’s open to the public, even during school recess.
Parent Misty Ronau, who is also the PAC chair for the referendum, explained, “Part of the park is fenced which provides some deterrent for people coming in and out throughout the school day, but large parts of the property are not secured.”
Superintendent Snyder said money would also be used to help children who are dealing with trauma in their lives that may be emotional, physical and financial.
The superintendent said great conversations have been had in the last several months with parents, police, first responders, and with schools' faculty and staff.
There are two town hall meetings coming up this Tuesday and Wednesday. The first is 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 21 at Floyd Central High School and Wednesday, January 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Prosser Center.