School Board Approves Priorities for Proposed Sales Tax

School Board Approves Priorities for Proposed Sales Tax

Superintendent Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Tim Harrell, Assistant Superintendent
of Support Services, presented four priorities as a recommendation
for how funding would be directed if the ¼ of one cent – or ¼ of one penny –
sales tax is approved on the November ballot. The four priorities focus
on Campus Safety, Learning Environment, Campus Revitalization, and Athletic
Facilities. The four priorities were developed at the request of the
Wayne County Manager to help identify projects that would be funded. The proposed
sales tax is estimated to generate $2.8 million annually.

There was consensus among most Board members regarding the priorities and
the project focuses, with agreement that standards can be established across
project areas in every school. Board Member Henderson expressed concern that
using the proposed sales tax funds in this way could potentially delay
construction or renovation at the Brogden schools, which are next on the
district’s facility needs list for renovation and/or replacement. Dr. Lewis
shared that a Needs Based Capital School Fund grant would be the more
appropriate funding stream for these projects, as increased construction                                            costs would limit the use of the proposed sales tax funds for anything else.

Dr. Lewis advised that as part of the next step, the two Boards will need to
come together to determine specifically how much of the proposed sales tax
would be directed towards school projects to address the four
priorities. Once the funding amount is determined, and a funding agreement
is approved by both Boards, information will be communicated as part of a
broader information campaign to ensure voters are fully informed when heading
to the polls on November 8, 2022.
The Board approved the four priorities in a 6-1 vote, with Board
Member Henderson voting against.