|Suzan Kesim for South Bend
(A name given to me by the City Controller since I regularly attend the Council Meetings and 14 Budget Hearings)
South Bend Community Schools
To be clear, the South Bend Common Council does NOT set the budget for the Schools or oversee its operation. That is the job of the School Board.
While my main focus is the finances of the City, I wanted to make you aware of the debt load for the School Corporation and why they are suggesting a referendum to raise our taxes for the schools.
Excellent schools are critical for creating future members of our society. We all want the community raising great kids. What you may not think about is great schools mean increased economic growth and business. Why? People will may a premium to live in a community with great schools to raise their children in. Property values increase dramatically and higher paying jobs come to an area with well trained and educated employees.
Strong Pre-K and reading programs have shown to decrease crime rates for fuure generations and increase success. There was a "School to Prison Pipeline" program detailing the need for strong schools. (See my "Crime" page)
NOTE: This is a 2/3/2019 screenshot from the State of Indiana Gateway showing the current debt level is $102,641,629
Those of you who follow the schools more closely may want to consider looking at how funds are being spent there. Find out about many sources of debt and spending at the State of Indiana Gateway.
So how does City spending affect School revenue? The City of South Bend has around 35% of revenues going into TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) and the City of Mishawaka has approximately 39% of revenues going into TIF. Our Property Taxes come from the COUNTY AS A WHOLE, so what the cities do, changes what is available for schools, police, fire, water, sewers, roads.
I am encouraging a COUNTYWIDE FORUM be held to educate both elected leaders and the pubic how all these finances are interconnected, especially with the Circuit Breaker going into effect 1/1/2020.
The cities and schools are making decisions as if they are a single entity and not part of the whole County tax structure.
It is my goal as an Advocate to involve YOU in the process.
If these are your priorities, I need your VOTE and Donations!
My campaign is a grassroots one. Donations are appreciated and helpful!
NOTE: My donation app is by ActBlue. Your receipts will come from them.