BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – An earned income tax levy is on the ballot for West Branch Schools this election. If passed, it’ll net the school $1.3 million per year.
The West Branch Local School District is seeking its first levy since the ’90s.
The levy is 0.5 percent earned income tax over five years and would raise $1.3 million a year for the school.
Right now, the school is operating on money from a levy passed in 1976.
“The world has drastically changed since 1976 and we don’t have the funds in order to keep up with the needs of our students,” said Superintendent Micki Egli.
Egli says their mental health needs have increased since the pandemic, and part of that money would go to hiring more counselors for the schools.
“Our guidance counselors’ caseloads have doubled just in the past year alone,” Egli said.
Mary Fannin is a parent in the district and the co-chair of the levy committee. She says it’s important her kids have access to those resources.
“Even if you have a child that you don’t think it’s going to touch, you probably do in some way,” she said.
Increasing security is one of the biggest issues to the superintendent. That would include increasing door security, adding security film on the windows and increasing the presence of officers at the schools. Right now, the school has one full-time officer for all four campuses.
“That’s just not suffice for today’s day and age,” Egli said.
The levy would also add childcare at Knox School for working parents. It would add an industrial maintenance program and later on, other trades. Students would still be able to attend MCCTC.
“Businesses are in our community now but if they don’t have a workforce in our community, they can’t stay and they can’t grow,” Fannin said.
West Branch has one more community informational meeting on the levy. It’s on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Goshen Township Community Hall.
For more information about the levy, visit the West Branch Levy 2022 website.