FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Northwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Himsel is firing back at the city of Fort Wayne’s claims that he school system is using “scare tactics” regarding the city’s proposed North IV annexation.
The board of trustees for NACS voted Monday night to eliminate school buses if the proposed annexation is passed.
The board said the decision was a direct result of the annexation because it would lose half of its $8 million annual budget if the city annexes the North IV area.
The city of Fort Wayne said in a statement Tuesday morning its trying to compromise and keep lines of communication open for those who might be affected by the annexation.
The city also said Himsel was blaming the city for the district’s budget problems and said he was using “scare tactics.”
In the press release, the city pointed to different news articles that said the school system has been having budget problems and previously considered eliminating transportation. The city also said Mayor Tom Henry has met with Himsel two different times to discuss options to reduce the financial impact on NACS.
Himsel sent a statement addressed to city council members a couple hours later in response to the city’s press release.
He said that property tax cap system, which was added to the Indiana Constitution in 2010, was bad for the communities and schools. Himsel said the school system has struggled because of the system.
Himsel also said he has met with Henry about the annexation, and was told the solution to the problem was for Himsel to convince the board and community to pass a referendum seeking money.
“It disappoints me that I live in a city where the mayor’s response to a legitimate questions is to personally attack an individual who is living up to his commitment of advocating for the well-being [of] 7,200 children,” Himsel said. “The property tax cap system is bad for schools and communities; the mayor’s response to working within this system is even worse.”