INDIANAPOLIS – On Thursday, State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) issued the following statement after the failure of a public referendum regarding funding for the Gary Community School Corporation.

“Like many citizens, I share the concerns that our community has regarding the future of the Gary Community School Corporation and its current financial state. GCSC continues to face financial hardships like many public schools across the State of Indiana. With our dwindling student population and low property tax collection rate, the district has felt the impact of state policies implemented over several years and struggles with applying strategies and internal procedures required to operate more efficiently.

“On November 8th, the district came within 1% of passing a public referendum that would have allowed them to enact a financial stop-gap measure and fill the budget short falls our district is currently facing. Because the referendum failed, local and state officials are now working aggressively to bring the district back solvent and address the districts internal controls process.

“For the past several weeks, I have been meeting with leaders in the Indiana General Assembly to discuss immediate and long-term solutions that will address the district’s financial state. During our meetings, we’ve discussed multiple cost saving measures that would help the district gain control over its financial crisis. I’ve also expressed the urgent and immediate need for action on behalf of the State to provide some type of debt relief.

“As we quickly approach the 2017 legislative session, I will continue to work with our school district, teachers, parents, state legislators, city officials and the citizens of our community to develop a strategic path forward. I remain committed and optimistic that we will collectively work towards developing solutions to provide our children with a fair opportunity to receive a quality education and the teachers with a stable work environment.

“As State Senator for the 3rd District, I will make sure that I keep citizens informed of our progress as we move forward.”

Sen. Melton represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point. For more information on Sen. Melton, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800 382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.