WILMINGTON — Wilmington City Schools (WCS) will seek to renew the existing 1 percent income tax this November.
The members of the WCS Board of Education passed a resolution Monday evening that will result in the income tax renewal being placed on the fall ballot for approval. The renewal tax would carry a five-year term, and the effective start date would be New Year’s Day 2023.
According to the board meeting’s informational packet, the income tax levy renewal is projected to generate $3.9 million annually for the purposes of current school district expenditures and ongoing permanent improvement expenses.
In more action by the board of education, a new three-year collective bargaining agreement has been reached with the Wilmington Education Association (WEA), which is the local teachers union. The agreement calls for annual salary increases of 3 percent, 2 percent, and 2 percent in that chronological order.
The new negotiated agreement will go into effect on July 1, 2021 and run through the end of June 2024.
The WCS district and the WEA were scheduled to go into negotiations in the spring of 2020, but the pandemic struck. Certified and classified employees of the school district agreed to delay negotiations, and took a salary freeze based on the prior year’s pay, said WCS Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart following the board meeting.
In the new collective bargaining agreement, the teachers union was willing to forgo late-arrival days. Usually involving two-hour delays at the start of five school days, the time was used for professional development as well as teacher record keeping, the superintendent said.
The feedback from students and the community, McCarty-Stewart said, was that the late-arrival days were disruptive. The teachers were gracious in understanding that, and going along with the change to the school calendar, she added.
The WCS district is still in negotiations with its classified employees who belong to the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE).
It being the final board meeting of the pandemic-affected 2020-21 school year, McCarty-Stewart took the occasion to reflect.
She said she can’t say enough about WCS families, about everyone’s cooperation, and about the students who exceeded educators’ expectations in meeting guidelines for the safe opening of schools and for keeping them open safely.
“It really took a community coming together doing that. I’m so proud of Wilmington; it took every one of us cooperating together,” said the WCS superintendent.
In a personnel item, the board approved the employment of 10 teachers for the Elementary Summer School program that begins June 14 and ends July 15 (excluding Monday, July 5).
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.