On August 10th, 2015, the Wayne County School District Board of Education approved a “Resolution proposing a special election for purposes of...authorizing a proposed voted levy at an annual rate of .000748 per dollar of taxable value.” At multiple board meetings the school board has unanimously expressed its approval of proposing this tax increase.
The revenue that would be generated from this tax is critical to support the operations and instructional programs of the district. Student enrollment has declined by eighty students, or fifteen percent of our student population in the last five years. A significant portion of our state funding is based on student enrollment, so even while the legislature has provided yearly increases to the state funding per student, we have decreased in the total amount we receive in this area. In the past, budget adjustments have been able to absorb the shortfalls, but these adjustments are starting to impact instructional offerings significantly.
The revenue from the Voted Local Levy will be used first to replace the business teacher at the high school and the administrator at the middle school. We were unable to fill these vacancies due to budget shortfalls for the 2015-2016 school year. We will also use the funds to provide critical technology support postponed due to lack of funding. The remaining available revenue will be used to help cover basic yearly cost-of-living increases for employees, provide critical classroom and school supplies, and allow administrators more options to consider from as they implement ever-changing curriculum requirements. The increase would also help support student transportation and the month-to-month maintenance and operations of the district.
Additionally, by passing the Voted Local Levy, we will receive extra funds through the state guarantee program. For every two dollars raised locally through this levy, the state will guarantee another one dollar in matching revenue. This provides extra on-going state funding never before available for the education of our students.
The Board has been charged with the responsibility of guaranteeing all students an equal and appropriate education in their preparation to become college and career ready. Providing quality programs and instruction becomes a daunting and difficult task as the board attempts to strike a balance between critical student needs and available resources. These funds will help support the district in its efforts to meet those educational needs.
Passing the Voted Local Levy is our message both locally and to the state that our community supports public education and our students. The board asks for your “YES” vote on the Voted Local Levy proposition ballot in the upcoming November 3, 2015, election.