By: PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
March 21, 2013
Julia Roberts Goad
WILLIAMSON — Tomorrow, Mingo County voters will decide the future of a school levy that has been in place for almost 50 years.
The levy would provide $8,843,894 per year for five years. The Mingo Board of Education put together a steering committee which created a plan on how best to use the funds from the levy.
The largest single expenditure is $2,648,211 planned for support for professional personnel. The money is for salary supplements for personnel, directors, principals and teaching personnel, based on the academic degrees and honors they hold.
Another large amount of levy funds is support for service personnel. The steering committee decided to set aside $1,801,910 for salary supplements for school service personnel such as secretaries, teachers aides and bus drivers.
The committee tagged $1,052,579 so Mingo schools can continue to provide free textbooks and instructional equipment to students. Equipment that has been paid by the levy includes laptop computers, which have been provided to all high school students in the county.
If passed, the levy will provide support for athletic and extracurricular activities. Money for coaches for sports that have not traditionally been in Mingo County schools, such as cross country track, tennis and swimming. It will also provide money for coaches in middle schools.
The county’s two high schools, have agreed to a base allocation of $12,000 each, and then to split an additional $26,000, based on how many students participate in athletics.
Levy funds will be used to support technical and career programs. More than $138,000 will help expand the Pro-Start program, which prepares student for a career in culinary arts and restaurant management, the health field such as nurses and respiratory therapists, business classes and vocational agricultural careers.
Other items the steering committee allocated funds to include support for school repairs, public and school libraries, health services, band and choral activities, and security and prevention resource officers at schools.
If there funds from the levy that are not spent during the school year, such as money put aside for a sport in which students do not express an interest, that money will carry over into the next school year, Keathley explained.
Although the levy would provide a huge financial benefit to schools, it would not increase taxes, as it is simply a continuation of the levy that has been in place since 1964.