Community Deserves Great Schools

New Prairie Community Members and Taxpayers,

As you already know, New Prairie United Schools will have a referendum question on the upcoming May 3rd ballot. In not-so-distant times, New Prairie USC would have sold bonds and taxes would have increased to pay for those bonds. Current statute requires that school corporations wishing to borrow $10 million or more go to the taxpayers and ask for permission to issue bonds/incur debt. The referendum question on May 3rd’s ballot is nothing more than New Prairie USC asking the community to slightly increase their property taxes in order to pay for needed repairs and improvements to our schools.

My family and I have been a part of New Prairie for nearly twenty-five years (and property owners/taxpayers for most of that time). We have witnessed explosive growth in enrollment, programs, and opportunities for our children. We have been a part of the building of two new elementary schools (plus one renovation) as well as a new middle school. While these buildings still seem “new” in my mind, some of them are starting to show their age after 20+ years...and New Prairie High School is approaching the fifty-year mark. Just like your home, things wear out and need replacement or sometimes you need to make improvements to meet the needs you didn’t have decades before. This is where New Prairie United Schools needs your help. With the current school funding rules, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to continue the upkeep and necessary improvements for our schools without asking for a tax increase. You have probably followed in the news how other school corporations in the area have done just that (or are preparing to do so). New Prairie USC’s needs are no different:

• Roof replacement for New Prairie High School and all three elementary schools; • Heating/Cooling repairs and improvements in those same schools; • A new auditorium that can seat the entire NPHS student body (as well as the overflow crowds that attend NP fine arts performances); • Traffic flow changes that will improve the safety of our students and their families; • An auxiliary gym/auditorium at New Prairie Middle School (so students won’t have to hold athletic practices as early as 5:30 am and as late as 9:00 pm); • Other repairs and improvements to ensure that New Prairie’s facilities meet the same high level of performance expected by the community in academic and extracurricular areas.

As mentioned above, the cost of all of this will require a slight increase in property taxes (less than $10/month for the average homeowner). This seems like a small investment to guarantee that our community will continue to have excellent, 21st Century schools. There are several new homes being built in my Galena Township neighborhood; each of these new families have told me that they are moving here from neighboring school districts BECAUSE OF THE GREAT NEW PRAIRIE SCHOOLS. Great schools directly impact home and land values. A small investment in this project can result in a many-fold payback in property values. Even if you do not have children attending New Prairie USC, ensuring that we have great schools can, over time, have a positive impact on your pocketbook.

On May 3rd, vote to support the great schools that our students deserve, vote to support the great schools that our community deserves, vote “YES” for New Prairie Schools.

Jim Holifield Taxpayers For New Prairie Schools

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