By Charlotte Underwood/Staff Writer
The Whitley County Board of Education held its annual tax rate hearing on Thursday.
Superintendent Scott Paul recommended that the board of education keep the real estate tax flat at 38.6. There was a slight decrease on the tax for tangible personal property from 43.3 to 39.8, and the vehicle tax rate was approved at 55.2
“We have one of the lowest tax rates in the state, but it is becoming more difficult to maintain. We are making a concerted effort to keep our rates low,” Paul said.
The non-restrictive indirect cost rate was approved at 9.86, while the restricted indirect cost rate was approved at 1.36.
“These are set by the state,” Paul explained.
During the board meeting, Family and Consumer Science teacher Veronica Carmical received the Above and Beyond Award for taking the initiative to write the grant and securing a $23,000 in grant funding to obtain I-pads for the Family and Consumer Science class.
The 2012/2013 working budget was also approved during the board meeting.
“It is essentially the same budget we had last year,” Paul said.
The $39.9 million budget includes a 1 percent raise for employees.
The board approved the application for the Race to the Top district grant.
It is a $30 million grant that the Whitley County district is applying for other school districts. If received, Whitley County’s share of the grant would be a little more than $12 million.
“It is ear-marked for college and career readiness programs,” said Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett. The grant would be paid out over four years.
“Needless to say we are hoping to get that grant,” Paul said.
Whitley County applied for the grant with three other school districts, including Williamsburg, Corbin and the McCreary District.
“We have a lot of children that would really benefit from that grant,” said board member Delmar Mahan.
Final business concluded at the meeting was the approval of a $500 stipend to help offset the cost of teachers who are part of a program that would train them to be principals.
“This is something that the superintendent and I have been talking about for two years; we feel there is a need on our part to help some of our teachers become leaders and principals in the district,” Trickett said, adding that there is such a small pool of people that are ready to step into these positions that she felt it imperative to develop leadership within the district.
“We want to offer workshops and do our part to get these people ready to step into these roles. They would have to agree to have all of their certifications done at the end of this 18 month period and then sit for the test,” Trickett said, explaining the stipend would be used to help with the cost of the test which could be quite expensive.
“This gives them the incentive to go ahead and be ready,” Paul said, adding that the program would use mostly central office staff to do a lot of the training.
“I think it is a great idea; it keeps our people in the county,” said board member Bobby Tarrell.
The next Whitley County Board of Education meeting will be Oct. 18.
By Charlotte Underwood/Staff Writer
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