Zionsville teachers hope voters pass funding referendum

PoliticsElectionsBudgets and Budgeting

Band teacher Chris Murray played outside a polling location in Zionsville and while he was not singing for his supper, he was playing for his job Tuesday.
The 5th and 6th grade band director said he was letting his music do the talking, but he did call the Zionsville referendum vote a "dire situation." 

Residents said the "vote yes," "vote no" decision took its toll on the town, dividing the community, literally.

"I think it has divided the community and it is just too bad," said one voter. "One of the reasons we moved here was the strong sense of community and it was because the school system was so strong."

The school board said Zionsville Community Schools needs to close a $2.5 million budget deficit. If the referendum passes, a little more than 24 cents would be added to property taxes for every $100 of a home's value. If residents voted no almost 20 teachers would be let go, and classes, like 5th and 6th grade band would be cut to make up the financial difference.

For Dave and Becky Trax, their decision was not difficult.

"Not for us, I think it was time that it had to pass," said Dave Trax.

It was a no-brainer for Myrlis Boyle.

"No, absolutely I voted no," said Boyle.

Still others were undecided, like Zionsville senior Deanna Johnson.

"I have not decided," said Johnson. "I probably should look into that."
Johnson was not alone. Peter Hawryluk was is in the process of making up his mind as he went to the polls.

"I will know where I stand the minute I walk into the ballot box," said Hawryluk.

If residents vote no, Middle School Media Specialist Carrie Sanders will be let go.

"Every student will feel it, every family will feel it," said Sanders. "It is going to have to be an obvious demonstration of what we are losing. It is actually a loss for the whole community.

"Zionsville has always been so proud to have outstanding schools and I am just afraid that perception, there is no choice that perception will decline if they do not say 'yes' on May 8."

A similar referendum was voted down 18 months ago.

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