“Save The Jeeps” Effort Ramps Up With Less Than 3 Weeks To Election (w/VIDEO)

Dubois (NNDC) – With now less three weeks before the 2016 General Election comes to a close, the “Save The Jeeps” effort promoting what Northeast Dubois Schools Superintendent Bill Hochgesang says is a referendum the financially-strapped school corporation needs, the group wants to remind the two events it is promoting between now and the end of the election.

The first is a public question and answer session about why the referendum is needed and how it will affect taxpayers in the Northeast Dubois School district.

Hochgesang will answer questions at the session which will take place Monday, October 24th, in the Multi-Purpose Room of Dubois Middle School in Dubois.  The session will begin at 7PM.

The second event is a public rally hosted by “Save The Jeeps” on Saturday, October 29th at Dubois Community Park (see flyer to right).  The rally will be held from 8AM to 12Noon.    Indiana Department of Education Glenda Ritz is expected to speak at the Rally along with Hochgesang and other proponents in favor of the referendum.

Earlier, NewsNow Dubois County interviewed Hochgesang in detail about the referendum and why its needed for the school corporation.  That interview is below…

If passed, property taxes in the district would increase by 18 cents to 99 cents per $100 of assessed value for the next seven years; an estimated total of about $540,000.   Even with the increase, the tax rate for those living in the Northeast Dubois school district would be the cheapest in the county.

Northeast Dubois’ financial shortfall is a direct result of its falling enrollment over the last decade.  Enrollment in the Northeast Dubois School Corporation fell from 899 for the 2014-15 school year to 879 for the current 2015-16 school year. The drop in enrollment just this past year meant about $108,000 in lost funding from the state.

Projections say the school district’s enrollment will drop to 835 by 2019-20, which would result in additional state funding losses of nearly $350,000 over the next five years!

Superintendent Hochgesang, a 1983 graduate of Northeast Dubois High School, says without the additional money the referendum will provide, the entire school corporation could be in jeopardy and having to merge with another school corporation in the county would be a strong possibility.

The tax rate for 2015 in the Northeast Dubois school district was $0.81 per $100 of assessed value. The rates in 2015 for the three other Dubois County school corporations were $1.02 per $100 in Southeast, $1.08 per $100 in Greater Jasper and $1.21 per $100 in Southwest.

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