MOUNT GILEAD — Ten citizens are working hard to get their message across so the Mount Gilead Schools 0.5-percent income tax levy for 5 years will pass on Nov. 6.
Parent Brandie Salisbury said, “Our goal is to highlight the positive things about the Mount Gilead Schools. We want to maintain the best things and not have losses.”
Some positive district qualities the committee focused on are: the High School’s four year graduation rate of 97.5 percent; more than half the High School Students participate in a sport, band or other curricular activity; new intervention in Middle School helps struggling students and teachers at Park Avenue Elementary are trained in the rigorous reading intervention from Orton Gillingham.
Things the committee looks to achieve with the income tax are:
• These funds will be used for operating and not permanent improvement.
• Improve educational quality for students
• Increase safety for students
• Keep class sizes small
• Extend hybrid learning to the elementary level
Molly Clapper is both a Mount Gilead parent and an elementary school administrator. Some facts she mentioned are that the district has cut an average of three positions every year since 2013 to balance the budget. She added that the state reduced funding to the district by $300,000 and our district cost per pupil is lower than the state average.
Committee member Erin Kelty pointed out that the district has not had an increase in new local funding for operations since 1994. That is despite increases in costs and loss of funding from the state.
The tax will be collected through employer payroll deductions. Income not taxed include: Social Security benefits, Disability and Survivor benefits, Workers Compensation and Welfare and Child Support benefits.
For questions or to volunteer you can email: 4MGLevy@gmail.com. Levy committee co-chairmen are Erin Kelty, Brandie Salisbury and Michelle Mounts. Monetary donations are still needed and should be sent to: Citizens for Mount Gilead Schools, Attn: Thomas Griffith, Treasurer, 321 Northfield Dr., Mount Gilead, OH 43338.