By MARCIA DEBOCK, guest columnist
Last week, the Brown County Partnership Group provided information about how Brown County Schools’ May 3 referendum will ensure seven more years of operations for the Brown County Career Resource Center.
This column is meant to remind you that being registered to vote is critical to being eligible to vote on Tuesday, May 3.
The school referendum is asking for an additional 8 cents in tax dollars (per each $100 of assessed property tax valuation), of which 1 cent will be allocated to the CRC and 7 cents will be allocated to bringing teacher salary rates to competitive levels and to other general fund expenses.. This will allow Brown County Schools to recruit successfully in the marketplace for quality teachers and put in place a compensation plan that ensures the earnings expectations for teachers who perform at the highest levels. We will give you more details about that subject in our next column.
The deadline for voters to register is Monday, April 4.
Your voice — whether you have children in our public schools or recognize that a strong, performing school system is vital for an educated future workforce — is essential.
“High-performing schools are a key factor in maintaining high property values. Not only is this important to young families wanting to move here, but it is also essential to growing the businesses and services that support them,” said Kathryn Richardson, Realtor with Hills O’Brown Realty and member of Rotary Club of Brown County.
Kathryn went on to explain that “Hills O’Brown has information prepared by the superintendent’s office about our schools and includes it with marketing materials about Brown County as an introduction for prospective buyers.”
Brown County cannot hear your voice unless you vote. I learned just recently that only 40 percent of parents with children attending Brown County Schools are registered to vote.
Yet, the outcome of the May 3 referendum vote will affect 100 percent of our children, and 100 percent of the adults who will benefit from the Career Resource Center over the next seven years.
Of all the school districts in south-central Indiana with referendums on their ballots this year, Brown County is asking for the least amount to support its aims.
Registering to vote by April 4 ensures your right to vote on important national and local issues.
National issues are thoroughly discussed in the media and in animated conversations among co-workers, friends and family members. Local issues, and among them the important Brown County Schools referendum, may not be “top of mind” for many.
However, our local issues might be decided without your input. In order for your voice to be heard, we urge you to confirm your eligibility to vote by April 4 via the following options:
- At the county clerk’s office, open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday;
- At the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in Nashville Tuesday, March 29 through Saturday, April 2); or
- Online at in.gov.
If you have questions, call the Brown County Clerk’s office at 812-988-5510.
This year, the Brown County clerk’s office is asking you to check and confirm your voter registration, especially if you want to be sure your information is accurate and up-to-date; if you have moved within Brown County since the last election; and if you are a new Brown County resident.
Finally, the school referendum is important to our students who are our future Brown County decision makers. They watch and model the adult citizens who influence their lives.
We ask you to join the Brown County Partnership in supporting this important referendum and supporting those who are on the ballot May 3, asking that you allow them to serve you.
For information about the Brown County Schools referendum, contact the Brown County Schools administration office at 812-988-6601.