New referendum details include gun-detecting dogs, classroom-barricading tools

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Noblesville Schools recently released more specific details on what the proposed referendum would provide if passed on Nov. 6.

Three categories will see increased funding – mental health, safety equipment and teacher salaries.

Referendum dollars (from 2016) have been spent to maintain 150 staff positions and programming in art, music, physical education, STEM, media services and more,” a statement from the district read. “Funds are also being used to cover some transportation expenses. Since 2009, the district has lost $46.5 million in state funding.”The current referendum rate is 18.9 cents for every $100 of a home’s assessed value. The new referendum proposes a rate of 37 cents, replacing the current referendum and providing the district approximately $6.5 million annually for eight years.

A median Noblesville home is valued at approximately $206,000, which would mean a household with that home value would pay approximately $15 more per month than they are now.

The district said 53 percent of those referendum dollars would be spent on mental health, safety staff and safety equipment. The remaining 47 percent would be spent on bulking up staff and paying existing teachers more, if passed.

Here’s a breakdown:

Mental health staff and additions

  • Screenings for students for suicide, anger, trauma, etc.
  • One district mental health coordinator
  • 10 social workers
  • Staff for alternative education program: one director, one social worker, two teachers, school resource officer
  • Two deans for middle schools
  • Three teachers for English language learners
  • Two additional elementary school counselors
  • Mentoring program

Safety staff and equipment

  • Eight additional school resource officers to cover every school (district paying for half, City of Noblesville paying for half)
  • Funding for additional/overtime school resource officer staffing to cover security for approximately 10,000 evening/weekend/large events each year
  • One full-time district safety director
  • One AV/camera technician to manage security camera surveillance
  • Enhanced communication technology system
  • Specially trained gun detection dogs for each school
  • Enhanced video systems on 100+ buses
  • Increased bus security and bus driver professional development for 100+ buses/drivers
  • Door barricading products for 1,500 classrooms and offices
  • Increased facility lockdown tools for 10 schools
  • Additional security camera equipment for 10 schools
  • Additional teaching staff for middle and high schools due to large class sizes and facility capacity

  Teacher pay and jobs

  • Provide salaries competitive with other area districts to recruit and retain high-quality teaching staff
  • Teachers leaving Noblesville because of current salaries
  • In some cases, Noblesville teachers are earning $10,000 less than comparable teachers in neighboring districts
  • Teacher compensation to be bargained with the Noblesville Teachers’ Forum, the teacher’s union that represents all Noblesville Schools teachers
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