FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gary Council Passes Resolution in Support of Nov. 3 Referendum to Improve Gary Schools
Councilperson Godwin: “I don’t care about the next election; I care about the next generation.”
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
Gary, IN – The Gary Common Council voted last night in favor of a resolution that supports the November 3 operating referendum, which would help the Gary Community School Corporation continue to improve its schools and get further down the path to exiting control by the State of Indiana. The vote was 5-2.
“These investments in Gary’s future come at the right time and for the right places,” said William G. Godwin, the Councilperson for the First District, which includes Miller Beach. “We love our schoolchildren and they deserve to go to school in facilities that will enable them to have the same opportunities as other kids. These improvements will go a long way for their future and for the people of our community. We look forward to being a partner in this progress.”
The vote came after Gary Community School Corporation Manager Dr. Paige McNulty spoke at length to the Council about the rationale of the referendum. Passing the referendum, she said, would create more opportunities for students, increase safety and supports, and reward teachers for their work. Passing the referendum is also the best way to help end the State of Indiana’s control of Gary schools. “We’re grateful to have Councilmembers’ support for the November 3 referendum,” McNulty said. “The Council joins residents across the city – members of the faith-based community, small business owners, labor leaders, parents, and grandparents and so many other residents – who believe Gary schoolchildren deserve the best, and who are voting YES on or before November 3.”
Taxpayers for the Gary Community School Corporation support the referendum because the district faces a multi-million-dollar deficit, which results in deficit spending and continued control by Indianapolis. Through cost-saving efforts, the deficit has decreased from $22 million in August 2017 to $6 million in December 2019. Revenue from the referendum will help ensure that we receive the funding necessary to meet the educational needs of this and future generations. A balanced budget is necessary for ending State control of our Gary Community School Corporation.
The referendum would raise taxes by two dimes a day on the average Gary household. In return, the revenue raised would balance the district’s budget – making an end to state control possible – and accomplish three other goals:
- Increase teacher and instructional staff compensation (the first $1 million the referendum raises would go directly to teachers, who have not received a raise in 12 years)
- Improve arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities (enrichment activities are important for our students, and they deserve the same opportunities available to students in other communities.
- Strengthen safety and student supports (more supports for our students’ social-emotional needs, including each student having access to a counselor and therapist).
More information, including a list of leaders who have endorsed the referendum, can be found at www.voteyesgaryschools.com.
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