The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 7, 2013

Fayette County school levy to be decided Saturday




3. Why is the board asking for $88,000 for science and math support, and almost $200,000 for athletics?

“The current levy provides approximately $72,000 to support the admission of all students to home athletic events. This line item was included to provide all students the opportunity to attend athletic competitions and to support their peers regardless of their ability to pay for admission.

“In recent years, it was determined that all student athletes must be transported via bus to away events as opposed to car-pooling with other teammates. This requirement was instituted to ensure that, while students are under the guidance and supervision of the school system, the school system has taken steps necessary to best ensure their safety. Funding through the levy would support the district’s schools and their athletic programs as they adhere to this requirement.

“While the funding for athletics provides for student admission to athletic events and transport of athletes to events, the line item for science/math support provides resources, supplies and materials to support student learning in the classroom.”


4.    What specific projects will receive funding through the “Maintenance and Capital Improvements” line item?

“Given the age of many of the district’s facilities, this line item supports the district’s efforts to continue their operation. Such work includes, but is certainly not limited to, the replacement of aging equipment such as coal-fired boilers, the replacement of failing roof systems, the replacement of insecure doors and windows and the replacement of carpet with floor tile. Funds also provide for general maintenance, upgrades and repairs.”


5.    Why aren’t “Free Textbooks” part of the county’s baseline budget?

“School systems in West Virginia are required to provide free textbooks to all students. Given the existence of the excess school levy, levy funds are currently used to provide for free textbooks. Absent an excess school levy, the district would provide textbooks using Step VII funds which are received through the state’s school funding formula. At present, Step VII funds are used to provide for items such as, but not limited to, school counselors for all elementary and middle schools as well as the district’s fairs and field days (i.e., All-County Band, All-County Chorus, Math Field Day, Science Fair, Social Studies Fair, Spelling Bee). Should the excess school levy not exist, those items currently supported with Step VII funds would likely be eliminated.”

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