At the Wilmington City School (WCS) Board meeting on July 24, 2023, it was decided that effective this school year (2023–2024) there will be a “facility rental fee” for all outside groups, says Treasurer Kim DeWeese. This decision was made without needing School Board approval.
The School Board did however decided that if the 1% “EARNED” income tax levy (meaning it will not affect seniors' pensions and such) does not pass on November 7, 2023, then WCS will “implement school fees and pay to participate for all extracurricular activities in the 2024–2025 school year”, said DeWeese.
Transportation fees were also discussed at the meeting, but a final decision was not made at that time. Other items discussed at the meeting if the levy does not pass were:
Extending the ‘one mile walk zone’ to a ‘two mile walk zone’ (two miles is state law).
Dropping busing for high school students (grades 9–12).
Adding a transportation fee to extracurricular events.
Cutting staff (which would result in increased class sizes).
Revisiting the previous plan to close East End Elementary.
DeWeese stressed that “no board action was taken on these items, but these are the main talking points.“
In response to the failure to pass the last 0.75% income tax levy, concerned parents, teachers, and community members have formed a new group over the summer called ‘Friends of Wilmington City Schools’. The group’s mission is to “help restore pride in our district and reflect community values in our schools” as their website states (www.friendsofwcs.org).
At their July 26 meeting, President Dustin Pearce said “our schools have done a lot to address concerns over academics and discipline, like improving test scores last year and implementing virtual schooling this year for students with behavioral issues, but that need to be communicated better”.
He then urged parents and teachers who, he said, “have the most to lose”, to join in going door-to-door and talk with people to help them understand what is at stake on November 7.
Also at the Friends of WCS meeting, WCS Board President, Carrie Zeigler, announced there will be a levy billboard near Walmart to help communicate the issue, and discussed options for placement of larger yard signs.
For more information about the levy, or to get involved and support our community schools, visit wwe.voteyeswcs.com.
For specific questions please search the Wilmington City Schools’ directory for the appropriate staff member at www.wilmingtoncityschools.com/staff-directory.