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  • It’s about equitable access to educational opportunities for all students and families, which is a major component of our strategic plan. Families are expected to pay for preschool, supplies, testing, and more, and these costs are not always affordable for each family. When a student comes to Kindergarten unprepared, he or she has a difficult time catching up, and may never catch up. When students can’t afford the cost of the ACT college entrance exam, their access to post-secondary education is limited.

  • Due to our increasing assessed valuation (AV), the MCCSC is extremely fortunate to have one of the lowest overall tax rates of any school district in Indiana. The MCCSC is in the lowest 10% of all taxing rates among all school districts in the state; this includes our Referendum tax rate. The average tax rate for school districts in Indiana is $1.058. The MCCSC tax rate is $0.185.

  • While quality early childhood services exist, the county needs more to best serve families and the community’s economic development. Among parents of students in Indiana’s Pre-K pilot program:

    • 50% were able to increase work hours

    • 35% were able to find new employment

    • 33% were able to begin their own schooling

    Per Bloomington 2021 Census statistics: Individuals with their own children under 6 years old have a  74.4% labor participation rate. This is in contrast to an 83.6% labor participation rate for individuals with children ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old.

  • Historically, community members have done more than express appreciation for MCCSC. Voters have backed that support with  financial investment, knowing that strong schools are a key element of any strong community that also promote economic growth and property values.

    • In 2010, after the State Legislature reduced public school funding, MCCSC residents approved an operating levy of 14 cents per $100 of assessed value. This vote allowed the district to restore teaching positions, fund coach stipends, strengthen programs and replenish an operating balance. By 2015, the actual rate dropped to 12.3 cents because of increases in assessed value.

    • In 2016, voters renewed the 2010 operating levy at a level of 11.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. By 2022, the actual rate dropped to 9.5 cents because of community increases in assessed value.

    • In 2022, voters renewed the 2016 levy and authorized an increase to a rate of 18.5 cents, a rate comparable to the 2010 rate when factoring inflation. In addition to renewing program commitments dating to 2010, this allowed MCCSC to ensure high quality staffing through competitive pay, including $4,500 salary increases for teachers and hourly rate increases of $2.25 for hourly staff.

  • MCCSC has long hoped that the State Legislature would finally act on its talk in recent years of providing statewide revenue for early childhood education. Now, with no indication the Legislature – even with its current influx of available funds – will address this need, MCCSC is ready to act because of the many and well-documented benefits of early childhood education.

  • Current Pre-K enrollment for 4-year olds in the community is about 400, including 115 in MCCSC and 280 by community providers. With an estimated 800+ 4-year-olds in the community, half are not currently enrolled in a Pre-K program.

  • The benefits to Pre-K education are immediately felt:

    • A child’s brain develops faster from birth to age 4 or 5 than any other time

    • Access to high quality education bolsters future learning, social skills and overall health.

    • Children in high quality Pre-K programs showed accelerated gains in ELA and math kindergarten readiness (15 months gain in only 9 months)

    The benefits of a Pre-K program are long-lasting and economically beneficial: 

    • Children who participate in high-quality preschool programs are 40% less likely to drop out of school.

    • Early learning programs narrow the equity gap among students from low-income families. 

  • Free textbooks fill a need; Indiana is among only eight states in which parents must pay for textbooks. District-provided texts create equity among students regardless of family financial resources. District payment of AP courses and exams also reduces inequities. Students with fewer financial resources are less likely to access AP courses and exams or certificates.

  • As few as 8,000 voters are expected in November. Your vote matters.

  • MCCSC hired the Morris Leatherman Company to survey 400 registered voters residing within the school corporation boundaries. Interviews included demographic targets intended to provide a representative sample of voters in the district. To the extent that any demographic dimension was under- or over-sampled, sample weights were adjusted to compensate. For example, we ensured representative samples were interviewed within groups by age, gender, parent status, voting history and geographic area.

  • $250,000

  • Owners of a median priced home would see an increase of $45 per year, or less than $4 per month. A hypothetical family of 4 will save $8500/year, while paying only $45/year. This investment in our children and our families will continue to make our community a fair and equitable place to live.

  • A one dollar investment in MCCSC returns $20 on home values. That’s just the tangible benefit. The intangible benefits are great as well, including more students graduating, fewer entering the judicial system, and more. Investment in quality education creates conditions that improve livability for all residents.

  • If a precinct is open for only a school question, the school corporation may have to pay for that. Political Action Committee (PAC) funds can help. We have reached out to the county clerk’s office for guidance.

  • No, we can’t just flip the switch. We expect to roll out the 4-year old program in the ‘24-’25 school year, and the 3-year old program in ‘25-’26. There are still other details that need to be worked out.

  • “MCCSC’s Early Childhood Preschools and Pre-K programs are NAEYC accredited.  All schools follow the Indiana Early Learning Standards; and administer the ISPROUT observational assessment three times a year to monitor child growth and development.  (See:  The assessment is done through observation of students through their work and play during the school day, both inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers and support team keep anecdotal records which can be documented online.  These observations are ongoing, and data entered three times a year.  MCCSC will continue to use this observational tool as well as daily observation of students at work and play

  • Staffing is determined based on a ratio of 10/1 for classes that include three-year-old students and 12/1 for classes of only 4-year-old children.  This ratio is a requirement for NAEYC accreditation, licensing, and Paths to Quality.  Additional staff would be added based upon any increased enrollment utilizing the rations set forth as described above.

  • MCCSC will continue to use the assessment from the IDOE as indicated above.

  • Referendum budgets describe everything that is allowed to be spent utilizing referendum funds.  Current estimates for the early childhood education expansion is 6 cents of the 8.5 cents being requested as part of the 2023 referendum.  Should the referendum pass, the approximate estimate for 2023 pay 2024 taxes would be $6 million towards early childhood education.  Again, please note that there are many estimates and projections associated with this answer.

FAQ's from the Community Forum on 10.2.23

Presentation can be found here.

  • MCCSC currently transports:

    • 3-year-old students subject to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    • 4-year-old students who qualify for On My Way Pre-K
    • Title I Preschool students.

    The above students are provided a star seat which includes a harness to help ensure greater safety on the bus ride to and from school.  In the event the referendum passes, a transportation plan will be developed for students who meet the above criteria and MCCSC Transportation will create a plan to provide transportation to additional students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch that live within the regional area of the school they are attending.

  • Monroe County Community School Corporation knows that a child’s social and emotional well-being is central to a child being ready to learn.  MCCSC has been fortunate to have received a Lilly Grant that allows all of our students to have access to a Social Emotional Curriculum called Second Steps. Additionally, our teachers have had access to training in this curriculum.  Amy Morwick, our SEL Coordinator, provides coaching and support for all schools within the district.  MCCSC continues to provide teachers with resources and support on ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and restorative practices. Each elementary school has a licensed social worker who provides additional support for preschool children and families.   


    MCCSC believes that young children learn best through active exploration in an environment that is rich in materials and opportunities to converse, socialize, work, play, and negotiate with peers and teachers. Teachers plan learning experiences to encourage curiosity, exploration and problem-solving in an atmosphere of warmth, affection, and respect for each child. Teachers strive to get to know children individually and although the Creative Curriculum is the adopted curriculum, our teachers plan lessons based on children’s interests in a way that is culturally relevant and appropriate to the developmental ability of each child. Children work individually or collaboratively and are actively involved in daily experiences that include foundational concepts in math, science, social studies, creative art, language arts, music, movement, and dramatic play. The curriculum considers all aspects of children’s growth and development – intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and creative, and seeks to be responsive to our MCCSC families.

    MCCSC Preschools are Level 4 Paths to Quality and NAYEC accredited.  This means that our teachers maintain a high level of care in every classroom.  Classroom visits are performed, and portfolios are created to maintain this prestigious designation.  While decades of research exist to support Early Learning, MCCSC believes it is the quality of the preschool programming that makes all the difference in outcomes for students.  See NAEYC standards listed in additional resources listed below and the 15 essential elements for High Quality PreK.

  • MCCSC has had the opportunity to collaborate with local childcare providers since last spring.  At these meetings discussions have taken place regarding capacity.  A successful referendum would be able to provide additional money to designated providers that would allow potential expansion of programming.  It is not the intention of MCCSC to compete with local providers but to provide assistance in expanding the number of seats for early learning to meet the needs of unserved and underserved students both within our schools and within designated, high-quality childcare providers within our community. 

  • MCCSC’s early learning programs are play-based and focus on Indiana’s Early Learning Foundations, which are aligned with Indiana’s K-12 curriculum standards. One of the 10 components of the NAEYC standards is to demonstrate a curriculum - that promotes learning and development in social, physical, language, and cognitive areas.  The curriculum MCCSC has adopted and is NAEYC approved is the Creative Curriculum.  This curriculum is research based and includes content, concepts, and activities for cognitive development in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, health and safety and creative expression and the arts.  MCCSC has purchased appropriate play-based equipment and resources specifically related to classroom topics of study and inquiry.  The materials are interactive and encourage exploration, experimentation and discovery. 

  • With additional funding provided by the referendum, MCCSC would be able to decrease the cost of programming for qualifying students who attend MCCSC preschool and designated community childcare providers.  With this decrease in cost, we believe that community providers may be able to expand 12-month options.  MCCSC realizes that every family has different needs for care and by increasing funding for early learning the options will be able to expand.

  • MCCSC encourages advocacy at the state level for fully funding the free textbook initiative.  Consider writing your legislatures to ask them to fully fund this initiative.  While some districts are considering lengthening the adoption cycle or not purchasing new textbooks, MCCSC is supplementing underfunded textbook and instructional material costs out of the Education and Operation Funds.

  • If the referendum passes, a two year roll out plan would commence.

    • 2024-2025- Four-year-old students would be added.
    • 2025-2026- Three-year-old students on Free and Reduced-Price lunch would be added. 

    The roll out is noteworthy because it allows for additional time to implement a plan and the funding does not become effective until December of 2024.  MCCSC would continue to work with designated providers during the roll out to determine capacity both at our schools and in their organizations.  Currently, there is no plan to move sixth grade students out of the elementary schools to make additional space. 

  • Based on our data from surveys, discussions with business and community leaders, childcare providers, and the Monroe County Smart Start it is predicted that there are approximately 1200 students that are not be served or underserved by preschool in our community.

  • While staff shortages in every area continue to be an issue nationwide, MCCSC continues to recruit teachers and staff in a variety of ways.  A few of those initiatives are listed below:

    • MCCSC continues to host our own Job Fairs throughout the school year for our community
    • Attend recruitment fairs throughout the state
    • MCCSC has increased wages to be competitive for both hourly and salaried employees
    • MCCSC has implemented a “Grow Your Own” program and has 20 people per year that are supported in obtaining degrees and increasing the skills of our workforce
    • Partner with Indiana University and Ivy Tech to develop and reach more potential employees
    • Offer courses at the Adult Learning Center to support individuals who want to work towards certifications and degrees
    • Collaborate with Cadet Teaching classes at the high schools and career center to support high school students interested in a career in education

    MCCSC has high standards and expectations for all employees.  The school corporation recognizes that investing in people is extremely important and has continued to support teachers to ensure high quality professional learning for the Early Learning staff.  Examples of this professional learning include implementing Early Learning Professional Learning Communities which gives teachers the opportunity for cross school collaboration.  MCCSC has also provided summer training on a variety of best practices in Early Learning and has consulted with Early Learning professors and consultants to provide the training.  Additionally, MCCSC continues to implement embedded coaching. 

    An example of this strategy is when our District Instructional Coach provided training on Conscious Discipline and then offered to support Early Learning staff in schools with ideas and strategies from the training.  

  • MCCSC believes families should have choice.  We will work with designated providers to collaborate and increase preschool and PreK seats for more children in our community.  As mentioned above we have been working with Monroe County Smart Start, and designated high-quality childcare providers to discuss what the partnership could look like.  If the referendum passes a more formalized Memo of Understanding will be created that allows us to partner with designated providers to provide high quality early learning experiences for our children. Money from the referendum will allow us to supplement the cost of the childcare by paying the providers so they can reduce costs to families and potentially create more space within their programming. 

  • MCCSC is excited to be able to help fulfill a need in our community by offering affordable early learning childhood education to students in need.  We understand that some students never get off a waitlist for affordable early learning education.  We will work with designated providers and our Elementary School Principals and Early Learning Centers to determine capacity.  Additionally, we know that during the Pandemic MCCSC (like so many other school systems Nationwide) faced decreased enrollment and therefore, does have additional space to accommodate more preschool students. 

  • MCCSC will continue to implement a multitude of strategies to hire staff.  See above question for examples of some of those strategies that are already being implemented.

  • The specifics will be planned based upon enrollment and the need for additional space based on increased enrollment and the capacity of community preschool partners.  K-6 enrollment has decreased over the last five years allowing for projected space needs to be met.

  • The locations are to be determined.  It is MCCSC to partner with area preschool providers based on contracted services through a Memorandum of Understanding.  Additional sites would be at 13 elementary schools.

  • The breakdown would be approximately $3.5 M for four-year old preschool and $2.5 M for three-year old preschool.  Details on the overall estimated breakdown can be found on the PowerPoint on the Referendum Facts page at

  • None are planned at this time.

  • At this time, we anticipate following the same process for enrollment and transfer requests as is done with our K-6 population. 

  • Transportation capacity is being reviewed.  It has not been promised as part of the referendum, but it would be the goal of the district to provide transportation.  An official decision will be made at a later time based upon logistics, staff availability, and more.

  • MCCSC values education and will continue to strive to increase the level of certification and professionalization of staff.  No decision on teacher salaries versus hourly wages can be made at this time.  This is in accordance with Indiana Law per discussion and bargaining rules and regulations. If the referendum passes, then discussions could take place and a staffing plan will be created.

More Information

Get Your Questions Answered
If you have questions regarding our district's Family-Centered, Community-Focused Referendum, please contact us via email at or by phone at 812.330.7700.


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MCCSC in the News!

Herald Times: May 30, 2023

School Matters: May 26, 2023

WTIU/WFIU: May 24, 2023

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Herald Times: May 22, 2023


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