The Washington Court House City Schools (WCHCS) Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the district office on Highland Avenue to discuss levy options.
According to WCHCS, the special meeting was scheduled after a recent resolution was passed by the board requesting the State Tax Commissioner — who determines millage and percentage of levies — to perform an audit and assess what style of tax the WCHCS would need. With that being said, the school board does not have to put something on the ballot because they asked for the tax commissioner assess. At the Dec. 2 meeting, the board will consider the results from the tax commissioner and decide what to do going forward.
“If anyone has something to say about the levy that is the best time to come out and let us know,” Bailey said on Friday during an interview. “It is a special meeting and the vast majority of time will be discussing next steps on the levy and deciding if we want to move forward with another attempt at passing it. This is definitely the time if the community wants to be heard about the next levy and talk to the board.”
As previously reported, the WCHCS 1 percent income tax levy for operating funds failed on Nov. 5 at the general election by 1,225 votes (50.56 percent) to 1,198 votes (49.44 percent) for the levy. With a difference of only 27 votes, the unofficial results were too close to call the night of Nov. 5 due to provisional ballots that still needed to be counted. The Fayette County Board of Elections certified the final vote totals in mid-November and the final vote count for the WCHCS income tax levy was 1,244 (50.65 percent) against the tax and 1,212 (49.35 percent) for the tax. Of the provisional ballots, 29 were confirmed with 14 votes going “for the tax” and 15 votes going “against the tax.”
According to Trevor Patton, director of marketing and communication at WCHCS, Superintendent Tom Bailey has also started the process of evaluating cuts. At the time he had started to meet with classified managers, building principals and department heads to assess where the cuts can come from within the budget.
“We will have that list (of potential cuts) and we have planned to have that discussion in open session at the January school board meeting,” Bailey said. “At that point the board will know if we are expected to be on the March ballot. It will probably also be at the March meeting when the Board of Education would need to finish discussion and make a decision about the potential cuts.”
In addition, the board will also vote on two employment/change of status items, a request for a high school girls tennis team overnight stay in Athens, and a new student activity budget for the High School Business School Store for 2019-20.
Stay with the Record-Herald for more coverage of the Washington Court House City Schools Board of Education.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.