Wayne Community Schools Signs Agreement With Wayne State College, Tax Request Shows Increase For First Time In Four Years

WAYNE – Board of Education members at Wayne Community Schools approved the 2020-21 budget as well as set the final 2020-21 tax request during their regularly scheduled September meeting.

From the conference room of the Wayne Jr/Sr High School Monday, board members first allowed public input during a pair of public hearings before moving into normal business agenda items.

The total budget will be $9,889,754 with $2.6 million in cash reserve. The school district did lower their building funds to $202,000. As for the final tax request, the change in tax rate did increase about 2% explained at $17 per every $100,000 of property value increase. The property valuations did see an increase of about 1%.

This will mark the first time in four years that the tax request will show an increase, according to Superintendent of Wayne Community Schools Dr. Mark Lenihan.

“We just need to make sure we’re able to maintain operations,” said Dr. Lenihan. “Maintain the staff we have and to be able to cover utility costs and those types of things. We didn’t add anything major to our budget this year.”

Dr. Lenihan thanked the board for their support in working through the budget.

President, Dr. Marysz Rames and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Steven Elliot with Wayne State College were both in attendance discussing the Early Childhood Placement Agreement. Talk between Dr. Lenihan and the college has been going on for quite some time and the two were finally able to lock down the details but just needed the boards approval which took place Monday.

WSC have always ran a small kiddie college that had maybe 10 kids a year but only twice a week in the mornings. This agreement would have no budget impacts as it would be a practicum for WSC college students who are juniors or seniors and be capped at 15 college students at the Early Learning Center. WSC plans to rotate their students and the class would range between 8-12 WSC students.

Dr. Mark Lenihan stated during the meeting this is a great opportunity for both entities and there’s not a day that goes by that they don’t have some connections with WSC in the school district’s buildings.

“Even now during this COVID time we have student teachers, we’re trying to work with their NENTA program which is a substitute teacher program,” Dr. Lenihan added. “This is just another real positive thing that I think will be great for both Wayne Community Schools and Wayne State College.”

During administrative reports, Dr. Lenihan brought up the 2020-21 enrollment which changes on a weekly bases as the numbers fluctuate in September and October. As of Monday, Wayne Community Schools had 957 students from birth to grade 12. A total of 35 students were exempt with 15 being due to COVID-19. Also, next year’s kindergarten class could see an increase with a handful of students not coming into the elementary due to COVID-19 this year.

The school also revisited their COVID Risk Status and for the week of September 14 moved to ‘Yellow’ with regular instruction. Visit wayneschools.org to view the WCS COVID-19 Response Plan.

Hear the complete interview with Dr. Lenihan by selecting the ‘Podcasts’ tab of the ‘Community’ drop-down on waynedailynews.com.

The Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will next meet on Monday, October 12.