My family and I moved to Noblesville about 8 years ago. Our top criteria for selecting an area and house were good schools. We selected Noblesville because of the schools, but the sense of community was an added benefit.
In the past 8 years, Noblesville has proven itself to be a wonderful and close-knit community. After the shooting at Noblesville West Middle School, Noblesville once again came together to take care of one other. I was so proud of how everyone from the teachers, staff, students, parents and community handled themselves with such class and dignity. I am proud to call Noblesville our home and proud that Noblesville Schools has educated all three of our children.
Unfortunately, like the shooting has affected our community, so has the national shortage for teachers. Teachers are leaving Noblesville for neighboring school systems to make $5,000 to $15,000 more per year. I don’t blame the teachers. They have to do what is best for their families. How many of us wouldn’t jump at an opportunity for higher salary without increased responsibilities? We need to be able to offer competitive salaries to attract the best teachers for our kids in order to provide them with a high-quality education.
The way schools are funded has changed in the past decade. In 2010, implementing the 1 percent property tax cap made dramatic changes. These changes significantly decreased funding for the schools. Noblesville Schools has lost $46.5 million since 2009. Therefore, our schools are forced to rely on referendum funding. Indiana has had to become a referendum state in order to compensate for the shortfall of school funding.
Those who don’t have kids in the school system may find it difficult to see why they should vote yes for the referendum. Maintaining the highest level of education is proven to be a major factor in why families purchase homes. It is what brought us to Noblesville and will continue to bring transplants to Noblesville. Investing in our education is investing in our community, businesses and the development of our town.
Please come together as a community and show our kids that we care and that we are willing to give them the resources they need by retaining teachers, providing more and better resources for mental health and counseling, and increasing security while they are at school.
Voting yes for the referendum will provide this to our children, our students and our future. Please come together once again, Noblesville, and help provide these resources for our kids and our community. Don’t fail us now, Noblesville.
Hyde (Heidi) Heckman