Wayne Community Schools holds budget hearing

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No one from the public spoke during a budget hearing that preceded the monthly meeting of the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan outlined a number of items from the budget and told the board that the total tax asking for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $11,221,232.00. This includes $400,000 in the building fund for anticipated projects during the coming year.

The district's levy will be $1.05 per $100 of valuation, a decrease from last year's levy of $1.08. This includes the levy for the General Fund, Bond Funds, Special Building Fund and Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Funds.

Dr. Lenihan said the property valuation in the district is up 10% from last year.

A joint tax hearing with the county has been set for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wayne County Courthouse. Several other school districts within the area will also be a part of the hearing as they are also requesting a budget increase of more than the allowable 2%.

During the regular portion of Monday's meeting, Dr. Lenihan presented information to the board on the potential future uses or disposition of a parcel of land owned by the district. The land is the former site of School District 83 and is located 13 miles west and one mile south of Wayne.

In executive session board members discussed the options for the land and no action was taken.

Enrollment numbers were shared with the board. The freshman class for 2022-2023 is the largest, with 92 students, while the third grade class is the smallest with 55 students.

Total enrollment for preschool through 12th grade is 987 students with 12 additional students enrolled in the district's birth to age two program. This is an increase of five students from this time last year.

Discussion was held on how to handle out-of-state travel for student activities.

Dr. Lenihan said the issue has been coming up more recently as several groups of students have qualified to attend national events. He asked the board for advice on how the district wants to deal with these instances moving forward.

He shared information from other schools, including paying for half of travel expenses for those who qualify and having the students pay for the event and reimburse them after they return.

Additional discussion will be held at a future meeting.

Written reports were provided by all administrators and included information on Homecoming activities at the high school, the number of students taking each of the classes offered at the junior and senior high school and Parents' Night activities at the Elementary School.

SupDates were set for Community Facility Committee meetings.

These will be held Sept. 21, Oct. 12, Oct. 26 and Nov. 10. Several board members will be available to attend these and by the Nov. 10 meeting, the committee could bring a recommendation to the board. The timeline moving forward from that point was discussed, leading to the possibility of having an election in February 2023.

In other action, the board approved on second reading Policy 8230 and Policy 8231. Both deal with reimbursement for board members attending events, particularly out-of-state travel expenses.

First reading approval was given for Policy 6212. It deals with assessments and academic content standards for English Language Arts and Math.

Changes to the policy include updating the year the standards were adopted by the State Board of Education and changing the way they align with state standards.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. in the junior-senior high school library. A special meeting in regard to the proposed budget will take place on Monday, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m.

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