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Learning Curve

  • An F for transparency
    “Look at this shiny thing over here!” – Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, Oct. 14, 2014.

Piling on poor schools

The Journal Gazette’s Dan Stockman looked at the effect of assessed value on tax rates and found tremendous inequity between wealthier and poorer districts.

In 2008, Logansport taxpayers, with the highest school tax rate in Indiana, had an average per-capita income of just $18,467, but paid a total school tax rate of $4.17. In the Carmel-Clay Schools, taxpayers had a per-capita income of $41,359 but paid a school tax rate of just $1.03.

Stockman’s story points out the likely damage the 2008 property tax overhaul will cause for poorer school districts, particularly with regard to building and transportation costs, but he doesn’t touch on the additional pain lawmakers piled on this year by approving the nation’s broadest voucher program and a bill that will make it easier to open a charter school and further dilute support for existing public schools.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at