Leaders of a small northern Indiana school district say the battle to fund their school system isn’t over.
Argos Community School administrators say they will continue to push for a local property tax increase even though voters defeated a proposed tax hike on the May 3 ballot.
The district has laid off eight staff members, eliminated a science program and scaled back the number of cafeteria workers.
Argos Superintendent Michele Riise says the rural one-building school district will ask residents to increase taxes again next May.
“The board decided that they want to give it one more shot,” she says. “Are we going to go to the extent we did? All the meetings we had? All the time we put into it? No, we won’t.”
Former school board member and farmland owner Don Thompson is against the tax increases.
He says farmers already pay high property taxes, and responsibility lies with the state because it funds schools.
“Rather than just let us sit out here and fight it out and see who comes out of that battle alive and bleeding to survive, that is not public policy, that is not doing your job,” he says
Argos school administrators haven’t said how large a tax increase they will seek.