WCS school board discusses another potential levy


WILMINGTON — On Monday, the Wilmington City Schools (WCS) Board of Education hosted a special session to discuss another potential levy to place on the November election ballot.

WCS Superintendent Jim Brady said he wanted to get the perspective of board members and officials on what to do next. He also wanted to discuss what may happen to the district if another levy fails.

“One of the challenges I’m starting to see with the failure to pass, is the teacher turnover in an economy where it’s tough to find teachers is starting to impact us again,” said Brady.

He added there haven’t been any discussions of personnel cuts, but he anticipates concerns for job security if a levy fails again. Board members Marty Beaugard Sr. and Michael Flanigan said they felt they needed to let the district know what might happen if a levy fails again.

“I still don’t think people have a clue, if this doesn’t pass, what’s going to happen. We need to let them know the reality that you need money to do things,” said Beaugard. “I think we need to push that issue. This is real, this is what’s going to happen if this doesn’t pass. Just be straight up.”

Flanigan talked about how parents in the community told him they didn’t support the levy because they didn’t like the direction the school was moving towards.

“While I can understand what they’re saying … if you don’t like the way things are going today, let this cushion run out and let us go into a $4.5 million deficit,” said Flanigan.

He said he believes taxpayers don’t comprehend what the cuts could do to the school district and families. Primarily, he cited cuts to transportation and staff for the district. Members and personnel also mentioned that this could possibly impact extracurricular activities, with them hinting at a pay-to-play implementation.

WCS Treasurer Kim DeWeese addressed a possible talking point being that the school received federal money during the pandemic. DeWeese advised that money had to be allocated for special needs. She told the News Journal the last amount of the money had to be used in the coming school year or they’d lose it entirely. She advised the money was being used for construction projects at Holmes and Denver elementary schools.

Brady told the News Journal there will be a board resolution presented at the next board meeting (June 26) regarding a possible 1% earned income tax.

The school district’s previous income tax levy on the May 16 ballot failed with 1,931 voting against it and 1,690 voting for it.

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