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Why can’t New Albany schools live within budget?

Seems we’re back where we were four years ago. New Albany-Floyd County Schools says they need more of our taxpayer money for school safety allowed under SEA 127 passed in 2019. Seems over 60% of taxpayer dollars is not enough. Now, they want another $3.1 million per year for eight years, or $25 million. Over the eight years, that amounts to $333 for every man, woman and child living in Floyd County ($25 million divided by 75,000 citizens).

How many Floyd County homeowners even know how much their annual property tax bill is, specifically those whose property taxes are paid by their mortgage company? Why not ask your mortgage company how much of your monthly mortgage payment is applied to your annual property tax bill? If it is, say, between $150 and $200 per month, would you be surprised? Do you want to see your annual property tax bill increased?

In 2016, only four years ago, Floyd County passed a school referendum of $87 million, actually $133 million including interest. Voters were led to believe this $87 million was replacing a bond that would be paid off before this new one would begin. That may have been true, but what we weren’t told was that there was still an outstanding debt of over $80 million still to be paid on past bonds. … That meant that instead of a debt of $87 million, the school corporation actually had a debt then of over $160 million plus interest.

And, with this $87 million, Slate Run and Green Valley Elementary schools were torn down and rebuilt. Many other schools also received upgrades. Prosser received a much-needed makeover.

We can only hope that all of our schools have the best physical building safety measures in place that are available and would not need further enhancement. We were assured by Superintendent Snyder and Associate Superintendent Jensen that our schools are safe now. So, where is the need for 30% of $3.1 million in each of the next eight years?

Why the rush? Why isn’t this on the ballot in November 2020 when, historically, many more people will be voting, particularly since this will be a presidential election?

In 2017, NAFCS received a Lilly Grant that expires in 2022. That’s two years from now. Why not wait and see if this Lilly Grant can be renewed or replaced by some other form of grant or funding mechanism? Has the NAFCS administration even looked at this? …

Ending with the biggest question: Why can’t our school system and its administration learn to live within its approved budget … ?

Dale Mann | Georgetown, Ind.

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