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The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Board on Monday will weigh whether to ask voters this fall for a 5-cent property tax increase to pay for early-childhood education programs for 4-year-olds.
School district officials will urge the board to approve a referendum question for the November election ballot, which would raise the tax rate 5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for seven years.
The 5-cent increase would be on top of the district’s current tuition support rate of 89 cents on each $100 of assessed value.
The new money would help pay prekindergarten tuition for 4-year-olds eligible for free or reduced-price lunch assistance. Such students make up about half of the more than 300 students in the district’s Title 1 prekindergarten programs and Busy Bees Academy.
BCSC Superintendent John Quick has said investing in early childhood education is important because studies show that 30 percent of Bartholomew County children are not prepared to enter kindergarten. Students who receive high-quality prekindergarten instruction perform better in school and are 30 percent more likely to graduate from high school, leading to a better-educated workforce, Quick said.
School officials also will introduce to the board a new vision statement for the district: “A community commitment to Deeper Learning for One...and All.”
Bill Jensen, BCSC’s director of secondary education, said the vision statement is meant to emphasize the school corporation’s individualized approach to education and goal of creating lifelong learners.
The district has had its current vision statement, “BCSC is a world-class community learning system,” for seven years, he said.
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