Wauseon schools will introduce a 2% income tax levy on the Nov. 2 ballot in order to provide for current expenses and permanent improvements.
At a Board of Education meeting held June 21, board members passed a motion to place the five-year tax levy on the ballot in order to generate at least $4 million annually for the school district. The levy would take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
Of the revenue the income tax generates, 1.75% would be allocated for current operating expenses and .25% to permanent improvements. The income tax is part of a fiscal precaution corrective action plan approved to stem the school district’s financial woes. Deficit spending for the district in Fiscal Year 2023 is forecast at $1.1 million.
The income tax would allow the school district to retain six teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade and to add high school electives.
The school district planned to place a 1.75% income tax on the November ballot last year but that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Superintendent Troy Armstrong told the board, “I’ve received some very positive input from community members. I know there’s always negatives out there, but I haven’t had anybody approach me and say ‘Why are you raising my taxes?’”
The income tax will not affect senior citizens drawing a pension unless they are actively employed.
In other business, the board approved a resolution to refund up to $2,235,000 for a portion of bonds issued in September 2014 to refund bonds issued for (1) “paying the local share of school construction under the State of Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance Program,” and (2) “…to improve school district buildings and facilities as may be required for participation in the state’s CFAP…”
Voters on Nov. 7, 2006, had passed a proposition to issue bonds in the combined total of $18,835,000, to be divided into portions of $12.18 million and $6.65 million, respectively, to cover the aforementioned Part 1 and Part 2. The Series 2007 bonds were issued in March of that year.
In September 2014, the school district issued $9,029,987.35 in Series 2014 Classroom Facilities and School Improvement Refunding Bonds to refund a portion of the Series 2007 bonds due to “current prevailing lower interest rates.”
The board also unanimously voted down an opportunity to attend an annual Ohio School Psychologists Association conference, saying the time isn’t right. The cost to attend would be approximately $3,000.
“It’s very valuable,” Board President Sandra Griggs said of the conference. “I’ve never come away not having learned something. (But) I don’t know if I’m comfortable spending that kind of money under the circumstances.”
Board member Larry Fruth agreed, saying, “I think it’s very worthwhile but I think it’s poor timing.”
The board members also had a protracted discussion about approving a policy concerning renaming district facilities. The talks resulted in what Armstrong said is a policy by which to field requests for commemoration, building plaques, and naming facilities. He said a committee can be formed to work out the details.
In other business, school board members approved the following donations: $450 from an anonymous donor and $7,500 from the Hackett Siblings of Hal C. and Carol S. Hackett, both to the elementary school pantry; $184.35 for NWOAL champions and $957.38 and for track/soccer scoreboard graphics, from Wauseon Athletic Boosters; and $250 from Stapleton Insurance to the WHS Student Council for Homecoming.
The board also approved motions to: authorize participation by the school district in federal grant programs; establish change funds for FY2022; approve the FY2022 student activities budget and purpose statements as presented; approve the assistant to the treasurer payroll as credit card compliance officer for all district credit cards; appoint the treasurer and /or assistant to the treasurer as designee to attend public record training; approve a “then and now” certificate for $3,048.54 for Tyler Technologies for transportation software; ratify memorandum agreement between OAPSE Local #533 and the Wauseon school board; set school breakfast/lunch prices for the 2021-22 school year, with no increase; set school supply/workbook fees as $35 for K-12; and approve revisions in 2021-22 school calendar; a shared services agreement between the school district and all Fulton County school districts to transport students to educational settings, extracurricular activities and events.
The following personnel matters were approved: the Rachel Wixey and Associates substitute list; the resignations of Jaz Bluhm as assistant band director, Christina Bergman as district speech language pathologist, Olivia Selgo as elementary school intervention specialist, Brenda Aeschliman as middle school cook, and Rhonda Borton as high school cook; the title revision of LaChelle Thomas from technology secretary to technology assistant; the transfer of Kyle Borton from fourth grade teacher to district assistant director of technology; the transfers of Bridget Benedict from middle school intervention specialist to elementary school intervention specialist, April Jackson from elementary school teacher aide to elementary school secretarial assistant, and Trudy Vasvery from middle school three-hour cook to elementary school teacher aide; one-year limited certificated teaching contracts to Sydney Nardo as middle school intervention specialist, Karin McGilvery as elementary school music teacher, Kimberly Meridieth as district ELL coordinator, Caleb Wyse as elementary school intervention specialist, and Rachel Nagy as assistant band director; one-year limited classified contracts to Dawn Ankney as primary school teacher aide, Veronica Canales as middle school teacher aide, and Melody Burress as full-time bus driver.
One-year limited supplemental contracts were offered for extended time to certificated staff members Katie Black, Samantha Burkholder, Jessica Gerig, Laura Leininger, Kaitlin Szozda, Chris Thomas, Laura Vorwerk, and Terri Westfall.
Positions listed may be conditional upon clean background checks.
Volunteer coaches approved for the 2021-22 school year include Mike Colon, cross country; Ray Martinez, assistant football; Sam Smith, assistant football.
Approved student pool workers include Reese Ankney, Xander Ankney, Andrew Eberle, Cameron Estep, Halle Frank, Macy Gerig, Aaliyah Glover, Aariyah Hallett, Grace Rhoades, and Emilie Wasnich.
The board entered into executive session to discuss consideration of an employee. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.