INDIANAPOLIS — School bus service could end in 2017 for Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township students under a resolution passed on Tuesday.

The district's board approved a resolution to notify the Indiana Department of Education and the public that it may terminate transportation service in 2017. State law requires districts to give three years of notice before discontinuing transportation.

Decatur Township Superintendent Matt Prusiecki said that the move would be "a cut nobody wants to make," but "unfortunately, due to our financial situation, this is a cut we need to consider in the next three years."

The district reportedly faces a $2.5 million annual budget shortfall and will lose $7.5 million to property tax caps in 2014. A referendum question on a May 6 ballot will ask Decatur Township voters to approve an additional local property tax of $0.2986 beginning in 2015 that would generate an additional $3.85 million in annual revenue.

Prusiecki said that if the referendum passes, "we will not need to pursue, or even consider, discontinuing transportation. But if the referendum fails, we have to give notice now to prepare to discontinue transportation in 2017.”

Elsewhere in Indiana, the Muncie Community Schools board on Tuesday opted to not pass a resolution to end transportation service in three years, according to The Star Press.

In November, a referendum that would have raised property taxes to provide funding for Muncie Community Schools’ bus contractor was rejected, as previously reported.

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