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The Process

In short: After identifying unfunded needs, MCCSC sought community through a survey, advisory committee and consultation with business leaders and early childhood educators

  • MCCSC commissioned a scientific survey indicating support for the initiative.
  • School officials solicited input from existing PreK providers and talked with business leaders
  • MCCSC conducted 3 sessions with an advisory committee that helped shape the referendum level and ballot question.


In detail: Among MCCSC’s discussed and published Goals & Priorities for 2021 through 2025 is a funding goal of “Increasing funding from local sources through community approved initiatives.” In November 2022, voters supported this goal in a vital way by approving an operating fund referendum of 18.5 cents. This served an essential twofold purpose of:

1) funding programming that otherwise would have been at risk as the 2016 operating fund referendum expired at the end of 2022, and

2) allowing the school corporation to significantly boost salaries and wages for all staff, making MCCSC more competitive in attracting and retaining the kind of staff on which the district’s high-quality education relies.

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MCCSC is always taking inventory of the learning opportunities it offers, particularly in relation to equity objectives, which include removing financial barriers for students and families. After listening to families and local employers and realizing that state legislators would not be fully funding early childhood education, the school corporation took several steps, with a Family-Centered & Community-

Focused initiative in mind. The district:

  • conducted a community survey, which indicated a high level of satisfaction with MCCSC and 73% support for an operating increase at the level of $50 annually.
  • met with existing early childhood education providers, discussing existing options for families and ways in which MCCSC and providers might work together to expand the availability of quality PreK,
  • spoke informally with business leaders who expressed concern about the ways in which limited early childhood education limits the availability of talent needed to operate existing businesses and attract new employers,
  • convened an advisory committee of key stakeholders, who – over three sessions – delved into the current situation and the district’s plan. These stakeholders reached a consensus of informed support for an 8.5 cent operating referendum, and
  • additional input through a well-attended community meeting.