Mount Gilead school board identifies provisional cuts

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — Provisional Reduction in Force (RIF) cuts were made at the Mount Gilead School Board meeting Tuesday, March 19.

The cuts are conditional if the levy would fail on May 7. Reduction in Force cuts can be made by school boards due to financial reasons.

Slated for RIF, provided the levy fails, are 1 elementary art position, 1 elementary music position, 1 elementary physical education position, 1 kindergarten teaching position and 2 high school bus driving positions.

In addition to the loss of teaching positions, the district would implement pay-to-participate for school organized sports, music, band, choir and musicals. Full-day kindergarten would be reduced to half-day and high school busing will be eliminated.

Pay to participate in programs and sports rates were set at: $100 for the first sport/program, $50 for the second sport/program, $25 for the third sport/program and a $300 cap per family.

The income tax levy on the ballot is at the rate of .0075 percent per annum for five years for current operating expenses.

Levy committee members at the meeting were Erin Kelty, Brandie Salisbury and Michelle Mounts. They presented information about two levy forum events coming up next month.

On Thursday, April 4, there will be an information and Q&A forum at The End Zone restaurant in Mount Gilead from 6-8 p.m. and there will be information and Q&A opportunity for those attending the spaghetti dinner at Park Avenue Elementary School on Wednesday, April 17 from 6-8 p.m.

Kelty said questions have been going around on Facebook and there is too much information to get all the questions about the levy and the financial situation of the school district answered on social media.

Salisbury stressed the importance of voters understanding the financial needs that are causing the board to put a levy on the ballot again after it was lost by just about a dozen votes last fall.

“We want people to come to the meeting or spaghetti dinner and ask questions to get the facts, “They need to have all the information and not just hearsay. This is an investment in our children and for the future of the school district,” Kelty said.

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel