Despite the savings realized by the changes the East Allen County Schools board recently approved, the district says it needs $8 million a year more to meet all its financial needs, so it's seeking that it a referendum. What are the chances it will pass? Just going by the statistics, slightly less than 50 percent:
Since the law's passing, voters have approved only 43 percent of all school funding referenda, according to a study by Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, or CEEP. There have been 42 referenda votes since the law passed with 18 passing and 24 failing.
In 2008, 80 percent of the referenda proposed passed; in 2009, only 28.6 percent passed, with a total of 21 placed on ballots throughout the state; and so far this year, 50 percent have passed. There are 13 school systems who have a referendum on the November ballot. Statewide, 16 were voted on in May, with eight of them passing.
Forty-three percent isn't bad considering the predictions by some in the education establishment that sending projects to a vote by those stingy, selfish voters would result in a 100 percent failure rate. If voters can be convinved the project is needed and too much isn't being sought -- they're being offered value for their money, in other words -- chances are they'll approve.