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Woodridge board moves 5.88-mill levy to ballot

8/4/2011 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

PENINSULA — To raise the amount of new money the Woodridge Local Schools need to operate, $2.85 million annually, the Board of Education approved putting a 5.88-mill emergency operating levy on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.

The levy is for 10 years, but — as Woodridge Treasurer Deanna Levenger explained at the board’s July 26 meeting — that new money might not suffice longer than five years.

“This is our best estimate based on what we know today,” Levenger said. “What we know now could change drastically in two years.”

In her year-end financial report, Levenger said, “We can control some costs, to some extent, but we’re not seeing any growth in revenue.”

The district has made extensive budget cuts in preparation for asking voters to pass a levy, but the state has also decreased its funding for the district while many expenses have increased.

“The cuts have been necessary, and we’re not done yet,” said Superintendent Walter Davis. “We will continue to tighten our belts and try to extend this levy [money] as long as we can.”

If the levy passes in November, the money would first be collected in 2012.

In other business, board members approved Davis’ recommendation to change part of the district’s student discipline policy. Under the current policy, students do not earn any academic credit for work they miss while out of school under suspension.

The student handbook guidelines will be revised to allow students to receive credit for work they complete while suspended if they turn it in the day they return to school. If they turn it in the second day back, they will receive half credit; if not until the third day, no credit will be received.

The student must arrange for the make-up work with his or her teacher.

“We want our kids to make up the work and build a sense of responsibility in them,” said Davis.

The school board also approved retaining Braun and Steidl Architects to provide design and architectural services for the district as needed. Davis said the search committee did extensive research and 13 firms submitted proposals. Braun and Steidl, he said, was the highest rated and was “highly recommended by districts they have worked with.”

Following the resignation of board member Melissa Wilkinson, effective July 22, Jan Flasco was elected to replace her as vice president of the board.

The board is reviewing candidates to serve out the remainder of Wilkinson’s term, through Dec. 31, 2013. Résumés were due Aug. 1, and interviews with selected candidates will take place Aug. 11, said Board President Cheryl Hoover.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Administration Building, 4411 Quick Road in Peninsula.

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