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Voters Elect Not To Pass Elkhart Community Schools' Referendum


Elkhart Community Schools voters decided not to pass the district’s referendum on Tuesday. The unofficial results from the Elkhart County Clerk's Office show only about 35 percent of ballots cast were in favor of the measure.

The district was asking for just over $15 million a year for eight years, the majority of which would go to making teacher salaries competitive.


Superintendent Steve Thalheimer said the referendum was the district’s last option to erase the gap between ECS salaries and surrounding districts.


“I don’t foresee any way for us to cut our way out of that gap, or we would have done that already,” he said.


The referendum would also have renewed the district’s existing transportation referendum, which passed in 2014 and is set to expire this year. Thalheimer said that could mean longer bus routes and larger walk areas for students. 


He said the district now has to do its best to work with the funding that it has, but the promises of better teacher salaries and benefits will have to wait.


“We’ll have to be able to just incrementally do what we can, and we will try to have it impact people as little as possible in terms of student programs," Thalheimer said.


Elkhart Community Schools is the licensee of WVPE.


Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


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