On Saturday, Wood County voters are being asked to do something county voters have done for 68 years - support their local schools by voting to pass the 5-year continuing levy.
While we certainly are not in ideal economic circumstances, it is important to note the levy is not a new plea for money. It will not raise taxes.
What the levy does is continue to generate nearly $17 million in much-needed funding for the school system, its students and employees.
The money is above and beyond what is provided to the school system by the West Virginia State Schools Aid Formula. This extra money allows the school system to expand both its resources and provides local salary supplements for teachers in order to keep valuable employees. These additional supplements are common and offered by most West Virginia counties for their employees.
A complete breakdown of the levy is:
* $925,000 for reading resource teachers;
* $375,000 for school nurses;
* $1.7 million for continuing maintenance and buildings and equipment;
* $9,953,803 to maintain competitive salaries and benefits for teachers, service personnel and administrators;
* $447,913 for Parkersburg and Wood County Libraries and Vienna Library;
* $200,000 for technology grants;
* $800,000 for salaries for coaches and academic sponsors;
* $570,000 for supplement funding for substitute service and professional employees;
* $800,000 for a dental program for all employees;
* $225,000 for copier service and school materials;
* $275,000 for instructional materials for all students;
* $150,000 for Local School Improvement Council projects;
* $140,000 for library/media supplies, books, equipment, software and services;
* $150,000 for alternative school for troubled students;
* $50,000 for WVU Extension Service Program in the county; and
* $8,000 for Artsbridge and other art enrichment programs.
We feel this money is well spent on valuable and needed services. The loss of this funding would not be made up by the state if the levy fails.
We urge voters to continue doing what has been generously done by Wood Countians since 1945: Support Wood County schools by voting yes on the continuing levy.