The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 1:00 am

SACS gears up for next operating referendum

Ginder asks to hire consultant

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Southwest Allen County Schools is eyeing its next referendum, but details about what voters might be asked to approve are sparse.

Superintendent Park Ginder wasn't ready Tuesday to provide a timeline for the operating referendum, but he is asking the board to approve a contract with Winston/Terrell Group for consulting services. The cost is about $40,000, he said.

Based in Indianapolis, the firm is considered Indiana's premier consultant for referendum services, Ginder said, adding the group has a successful track record with schools.

“They're able to provide communication platforms and the ability to work in our community in a manner that nobody else really is,” Ginder said.

The board would determine the referendum amount.

This wouldn't be the first time SACS seeks approval. In May 2016, voters renewed a $3.5 million referendum to support staffing positions. The measure was structured so property tax bills wouldn't increase.

In a memo to the board, Ginder said the funding source has “proven to be a major element in our success to attract and retain talent, reduce class sizes, and extend programming beyond what is available in yearly state funding.”

The board seemed receptive to hiring the consultant, which prepared an audit of the district this month.

“This is something we've got to get right,” board President Brad Mills said. “It's something we do every seven years. It's not something that we're very experienced at, so we need some help with this.”

The board is expected to vote on the consultant recommendation at its June 7 meeting.

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