In wake of a school shooting that injured a teacher and student, Hamilton County voters passed a $50 million property-tax referendum Tuesday for Noblesville Schools to expand mental health services, hire more teachers, social workers and start new safety initiatives.
After the shooting, school leaders, parents, local leaders and police pledge to help the district. The district says it will hire eight additional school resource officers to cover every school -- the cost will be split with the city.
Beth Niedermeyer, superintendent of Noblesville Schools, said the measure passed with 59 percent approval in uncertified results.
“We take the role of managing this funding seriously and are committed to making responsible financial decisions that are aligned with our interests of providing students the best education experience possible in safe and supportive environments,” Niedermeyer said in a video statement.
Niedermeyer said more than 60 community meetings were held and more than 8,000 campaign calls made during the campaign.
The referendum replaces a 2016 property tax increase passed to keep the district’s status quo. That operating referendum tax rate is 18.9 cents per $100 and the new referendum will
replace the 18.9 cents rate with a new rate of 37 cents.
The new funding will go to three main areas: mental health staff and related initiatives ($1.57 Million); safety staff -- including the new officers and a full-time district safety director -- and equipment ($1.75 Million); and $2.93 million for retaining and recruiting teachers and staff.
On Monday a 13-year-old boy admitted to shooting his seventh-grade teacher and classmate at Noblesville West Middle School this summer at a juvenile court hearing. Teacher Jason Seaman and seventh-grader Ella Whistler were shot multiple times with a handgun by the boy.