Editorial – Latest IRSD referendum born from area growth

Date Published: 
September 23, 2016

Latest IRSD referendum born from area growth

This is one that comes at no surprise, whatsoever.

The Indian River School District (IRSD) recently announced they will be hosting a current-expense referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The amount needed has not been announced yet, as IRSD officials want to make sure they “can be very exacting for what every penny will be used for,” explained Superintendent Susan Bunting.

So, why is this not a suprise? Well, schools are primarily funded through state funding and local property taxes. With the student population growing exponentially, and the 2017-fiscal-year budget dropping by $6.87 million, IRSD had to pull from its reserve fund and slash discretionary budgets by 30 percent. That can put any entity at risk, and it is especially disheartening when it is our schools that are at risk. The growth could contribute to another referendum in 2017, as well.

IRSD is working with the state’s Department of Education to potentially build new schools and classrooms to meet the growing need of a growing population. If the District deems that is a direction they need to go, then they will apply for another referendum for major capital improvement (to build new schools) and current expenses (if more money is needed for continuing costs of operation).

The area is growing, and nobody can question that with a straight face. There are also more young families here today than there were yesterday, and the school population figures clearly display that fact.

Our schools will need more money to maintain their standards.