NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Voters in Noblesville, Indiana approved a $50 million referendum aimed at improving school safety Tuesday.
The money will go toward new mental health initiatives, including screening students for suicide, anger, trauma and adding mentoring programs.
They'd also hire a district mental health coordinator, 10 social workers, more counselors, eight additional school resource officers and a full-time district safety director.
As for safety equipment -- Noblesville plans to add more security cameras, door barricading products for 1,500 classrooms and offices, better lockdown tools, specially trained gun detection dogs in each school, and enhanced video systems on more than 100 buses.
While doing all of this, they want to pay their teachers more.
The district said Noblesville teachers earn $10,000 less than those in neighboring districts.
A median Noblesville home valued at $206,000 right now pays $192 based on what voters approved in 2016. The new 2018 rate will soon cost this homeowner $376 per year – nearly double.
The referendum will provide funding through 2026.
Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer issued the following statement:
"On behalf of all our employees, I want to enthusiastically thank the community for supporting the operating referendum for Noblesville Schools. The measure in favor of Noblesville Schools passed by a margin of 59%.
This additional referendum funding will allow us to retain and recruit high-quality staff, enhance mental health services to students, and increase safety staff and equipment.
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.
Thank you also to those who actively supported the Miller YES campaign. There were more than 60 community meetings hosted, over 8,000 campaign calls made, generous donations given, yard signs proudly displayed, a website developed, frequent social media activity and more. For all this, we owe a debt of gratitude to our political action committee leadership, volunteers and community supporters.
We appreciate the community for entrusting us with their support and look forward to the work we have ahead of us educating the future of Noblesville."