Treasurer Explains Funds For Extra School Personnel
Wetzel County School Board Treasurer Jeff Lancaster spoke at Monday night’s meeting concerning a summer treasurer’s conference he had recently attended. Lancaster explained that at the conference each treasurer had received financial data concerning their county’s board.
Lancaster stated that prior to excess levy and tax dollars, Wetzel County Schools “used to have to live and die by the state funding formula.” However, thanks to the school board’s levy passing every year, along with the extra tax dollars coming in from oil and gas activity in the area, the board was able to keep positions that they would otherwise have to cut. For instance, Lancaster explained that Wetzel County Schools have approximately 209 professional positions that are funded by the state. However, Wetzel County Schools currently have 242 to 243 positions. As for service personnel, the state funds 126-and-a-half positions. Wetzel County Schools currently have 147 service positions, which means they are “over the formula.”
Lancaster stated that the school is approximately $3 million dollars over the funding formula. He stated that thanks to the extra tax dollars, Wetzel County Schools are able to hire nurses and counselors.
In another matter, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Shane Highley spoke on the new five-day model that pre-kindergarten was going to take in the 2015-2016 school year. Highley stated that Wetzel County Schools was going to move pre-kindergarten classrooms to New Martinsville School and that approximately five classrooms the K-1 wing there would be need to be designated for that use.
Clayton Burch, assistant director of the Office of School Readiness at the West Virginia Department of Education, stated that beginning with the 2015-16 requirement, preschoolers would have a lot more flexibility, despite having a five-day school week. Burch stated that counties in the state have different plans right now.