Wayne Community Schools Budget, Tax Request Approved

WAYNE – September is made for budget and tax request hearings at Wayne Community Schools and they addressed those during their regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting earlier this week on Monday.

From the Jr/Sr High School Conference room (202), the board approved their budget and tax request by the vote of 5-1 (Lynn Junck in descent).

No one spoke from the public during the meeting.

The Wayne Community Schools Budget was approved with a property tax request at $10,496,697 and the proposed tax rate being 1.081691.

Board members have tried to keep their request minimal over the past several years but needed to ‘beef-up’ their general fund to avoid dipping into their cash reserves, according to superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan.

“So, our general fund increased 6% while our overall tax rate increased 4%.” said Dr. Lenihan. “So, we adjusted a few other funds down so we didn’t see to large of an increase. So, basically the budget for the tax request went up about four cents on the dollar.”

In other valuation terms, it’s about $40 for every $100,000 of valuation.

In old business, the WCS Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) was finalized as the safety teams were joined by Chief of Police, Marlen Chinn; Fire Chief, Phil Monahan and Wayne County Emergency Manager Nic Kemnitz in April over a two-day period.

Dr. Lenihan added the group addressed their emergency operation plan.

“We kind of identified a few different potential emergencies that could happen at our school and we kind of went through a process there,” Dr. Lenihan added. “I think the main ones that we focused on were obviously severe weather and tornado along with your typical school emergency responses such as fire or if there is any type of violence that goes on.”

The board was also updated that they’ll receive $820,000 over the next three years through the ESSER III grant. These federal funds are coming from the American Rescue Plan for COVID relief. At least 20% of use will need to account for the loss of learning that may have occurred in Spring of 2020. Funds will be used to assist with the after school and summer school programs as well as technology resources for students and more.

Dr. Mark Lenihan mentioned the school continues to monitor cases of COVID-19 but are sitting good.

“If there’s a COVID exposure in a home and a sibling is a school student, so in other words if an older brother, sister, parent comes down with COVID,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “The parents have been great, they’ve been calling school and for the most part people have been very cooperative with that.”

Wayne Community Schools doesn’t post numbers but there have been a few cases. The number one objective is to have kids in school as cleaning precautions will continue.

An update to the board was also addressed as officials numbers will be taken on October 1 but enrollment for the 2021-22 school year has shown another increase as of September 10. the total birth through 12th grade is 994. The largest elementary class is third grade with 87 of the 497 in the K-6 building while eighth grade has 86 students and the senior class is made up of 82 in the Jr/Sr High building of the 445 total students. PreK three has 19; preK four has 20 and there are 13 additional birth to two age kids.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne Community Schools Board of Education meeting will be on Monday, October 11. Honor coffees will make a return in October.