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Carlinville school Board approves tax levy; Student discusses community closet project

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville School Board met on Mon. Dec. 11 for its monthly meeting. Several topics were discussed, including the 2023 Tax Levy and a project undertaken by Patrick Dunn to revamp the Community Closet at the High School-Middle School.

Tax Levy

The 2023 Tax Levy was presented to the board and community. This levy would be for the taxes collected in 2024. The district is predicting an increased Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of about 10 percent over the 2022 EAV. This would be an increase from $201 million to $222 million. The district is requesting $6,213,600 for the 2024 collection year. That is the levy and not the extension so the actual amount received will be less than the requested amount. For taxes collected in 2023, the 2022 Tax Levy, the District received $5,820,446.06. The requested amount this year would be a $393,153.94 increase over the actual amount collected last year. Carlinville has one of the lowest tax rates in the County and in the South Central Conference at 3.43095 percent. The only district lower than Carlinville is Staunton.

Ron Young spoke to the board after the Tax Levy presentation. He said that he had no issues with the school but wanted to make the board aware that farmers were paying the majority of the taxes in the District. He claimed that 2.6 percent of the population was paying 35 percent of the taxes. He asked the board to consider that every time there is a tax increase, the farmers are being asked to pay more.

Superintendent Dr. Becky Schuchman told Young that the board appreciated his comments and efforts and were aware that taxes were not necessarily distributed equitably. She added that Evidence Based Funding has helped “redistribute some of the wealth across the state to schools that were maybe not as well funded.”

The board approved the 2023 Tax Levy to be filed with the County and collected in 2024.

Community Closet

Patrick Dunn, with Troop 62, came before the board to discuss his Eagle Scout project which he undertook at the High School-Middle School. In 2018, the school added a Community Closet with food, clothing and other products that a child may need. The FORCE Club was behind the installation of the closet in the hallway connecting the High School and Middle School. The closet previously featured plain wooden shelves and bare walls. For Dunn’s Eagle Scout Project, he painted the shelves to add some school spirit to the closet and spent time reorganizing the clothes and food available.

The Board thanked Dunn for his efforts and congratulated him on the completion of his Eagle Scout project.

Employment

The board approved the hiring of Kristine Harding as a School Nurse. Tyler Finnegan was approved as the high school assistant Baseball Coach and Madeline Bolomey was approved as the volunteer assistant Cavalette Coach.

Other Business

Business Manager Heather DeNeve discussed a new financial projection software the district moved to recently. She provided the board with some projections for 2025-2029 for the various budgets and funds the district has.

The board approved a motion to release bids for school buses. Schuchman says she believes the wait period for buses is down and closer to pre-pandemic wait times, but that the companies have not been willing to guarantee a price for the buses. The board is only sending out bids and is not committing to purchasing a bus at this time.

The Library Collection Management document was approved. The document is necessary for the school to be eligible for several library grants and provides guidance over buying, replacing and removing books from district libraries.

The second reading of Press Policy 113 and the Board Policy Manual was approved.