On Oct. 5, the Greenbrier County Board of Education will hold a special election regarding continuation of the special 50 percent school excess levy that has been in place since 1974.
“For almost 40 years the school levy has provided our school system the opportunity to provide services beyond the basics and has enabled us to educate and enhance the lives of thousands of students who have passed through our hallways. Our ability to provide a number of significant programs and services depends upon voter approval for continuation of the special school levy,” said Sallie E. Dalton, superintendent of Greenbrier County Schools.
The special levy, which must be approved by the voters every five years, allows for the continuation of specific educational services. The October levy proposal requests authorization to continue additional levies from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019 to provide funding for school safety and security including but not limited to security services, equipment and related support services for students; instructional materials, technology and resources; continuation of art and music programs available to all students; school allotments and supplies, including lab supplies; employment of necessary personnel outside the school aid formula to meet the needs of students and maintain employee benefits; capital improvements including repair and maintenance of buildings and utilities; costs incurred in providing transportation to Pre-K students; and funds to facilitate extended year and extracurricular programs. The total approximate amount necessary to carry out these specific programs and services is $5,757,218 annually.
Forty-three of the other 54 county school boards in West Virginia have voter approved excess levies in place. Of the 43 levies in place, 36 are at or above the Greenbrier County rate. Overall, Greenbrier County currently ranks 30th among counties in local taxpayer contribution to education.
Monies generated by the levy can be used only for expenditures specified on the ballot. “It’s important for us to communicate to voters that this is not a school bond proposal. School bonds provide funding for new school construction and major facility renovations and cannot be used for day-to-day operations. This is a request for the continuation of the special levy that provides funding for a number of resources and programs that are critical to the daily operation of our school system. We are not requesting an increase in the levy, only its continuation,” said Superintendent Dalton.