At a special Woodbridge School Board meeting held on Tuesday, April 2, the board decided to once again ask the voters of the school district to vote to pass a current expense referendum.
A previous referendum failed to pass by 111 votes in March.
The vote will be held on Wednesday, May 29. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Woodbridge Middle School in Bridgeville and Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center in Greenwood.
“We need to again get the word out as to why we need to raise the school taxes,” said Heath Chasanov, superintendent of the Woodbridge School District. “We need for everyone to understand why we need to raise money. At this point we are still in discussions as to what will happen if this does not pass. I want to be very clear: If it does not pass we will need to do something.”
For the vote in March, about 1,400 people turned out to the polls.
“We need for everyone to come out to support our district,” Chasanov continued. “In the past, we have had referendum votes where we had well over 2,000 or more vote. I understand this is a tough time and everyone does not like to have their taxes raised, but we need for everyone to know we need help in getting this passed.”
Woodbridge School Board President Mike Breeding added, “We will be out in the community with presentations again to show why the money in needed. As Mr. Chasanov said, no one wants their taxes raised, but this is important to our students.”
The state took budget money away from the school districts several years ago during the state’s budget shortfall. The state has not returned those funds to the school districts and the schools are still paying the state for their budget problem.
The schools have also seen their costs of transportation rise. The state paid 100 percent of those costs in the past, but now schools have to pay 10 percent of transportation costs, which is a huge increase to their budgets.
Also, the district is having to spend money on school security. Again, this is not money many schools have budgeted for, but now must include in their budgets.
“I think communication is the key to this passing,” said Chasanov. “We need for all residents of Bridgeville and Greenwood to realize that all they need to vote is proof of residency in the Woodbridge School District and to be at least 18 years of age. This is not a general election where they have different rules. You do not have to be registered to vote, just meet the age and resident requirements.
“Please come out on May 29 and support our district.”