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Teachers, staff could lose their jobs if Westfield Washington's tax referendum isn't approved

Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 31, 2016

WESTFIELD, Ind. -- Westfield Washington schools are asking voters to approve a tax hike that would make their current taxes go down, and help them to avoid having to make major staff cuts in the district.

District leaders say 87 positions in the district could be cut if the measure fails to pass on November 8.

The measure on the ballot is similar to the one voters approved in 2009, which is set to expire in a year, except they're asking for less money this time around. 

The district says they need voters to renew their pledge and keep that money coming in so they can continue to support the growing class sizes and teaching needs.

Superintendent Sherry Grate said much of the nearly $40 million they are asking for will go toward keeping the classrooms adequately staffed.

“It’s about people and programs. So we want to be able to attract and retain quality teachers. We want to be able to manage our class sizes and we want to be able to continue to grow our programs for our students,” said Grate.

If the measure passes, voters should actually see their taxes drop, because the district is asking for less money than this time around. 

Under the new measure, the average homeowner will pay around $390 per year for a $350,000 home – compared to the $449 a year they are paying now.

If the measure fails, your taxes will drop even more, but district leaders say that drop will come at a cost of teachers. 

Grate said she’s optimistic though, that voters will opt to avoid those 87 cuts in the district and will check yes on their ballots on Election Day.