By Neal Smith
In the primary election June 2, voters in Beech Grove chose to increase the amount of property taxes collected by the city for Beech Grove teachers, staff and school facilities. More than $22 million will be used to hire safety officers; each teacher will receive $2,000 in raises; and future construction for an early childhood center has been approved, among other improvements.
“The Beech Grove community has always stepped up to support our kids,” said BGCS Superintendent Dr. Paul Kaiser. “We understand that no one likes a tax increase, but education is forever. If you want quality schools, if you want to do what’s best for your kids, you have to move forward and support to the best of your ability.”
The Capital Referendum allows for 25 cents on the dollar of assessed value, which allows for upgrading existing properties and building a new early childhood center. Kaiser said outdoor recreation facilities, which include the stadium and the softball/baseball field, will be upgraded. As well, there are plans for a new greenhouse for Beech Grove High School’s science program for hands-on experience. “We have the second largest agriculture science program per capita in the state of Indiana,” Kaiser said.
The operations referendum would set a rate of 55 cents per $100 of assessed value for eight years, raising teachers’ pay by $2,000 and some support staff by $1,000.
Construction on the Early Childhood Development center is expected to begin soon.