It’s a Marion County tradition, and its people deserve to be proud.
Since about 1950 — for more than six decades — county voters have supported the school excess levy.
“It is critically important to maintaining Marion County’s status as one of the leading counties in the state of West Virginia when it comes to educational performance,” Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said.
Marion County schools, Price noted. typically score at or above the state and national levels in most areas of testing, and they have earned numerous awards for student academic performance.
“We feel that the taxpayers of Marion County are getting a good return on their investment because they have been willing to support Marion County schools at an increased level,” the superintendent added.
“It is our goal to help every child maximize their education potential in a safe environment.”
Marion County is now in the process of preparing for an election to renew the school excess levy for five more years.
The West Virginia Legislature annually sets the regular levy for public schools statewide. Local school districts then have the option to lay an additional — or excess — levy, which must be voted on by the people. The local election will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12. If voters approve the 100 percent excess levy call, as thay have traditionally done by a wide margin, it would become effective July 1, 2014.
These funds, so essential to the smooth, effective operation of the public educational system, are allocated to specific areas within Marion County schools and can’t be spent on anything else.
One category includes textbooks, instructional materials, teaching equipment and supplies for media centers.
The excess levy also supports additional salary and enhanced benefits packages, such as dental and vision insurance, for current professional and service personnel.
Marion County gives a salary supplement above and beyond the state minimum.
Funds are used to improve the maintenance and operations of buildings and to upgrade the transportation fleet.
The excess levy provides funds for technology upgrades, such as the replacement of laptops for teachers or student computers; capital improvements, focused on major renovations or additions to existing schools; and infrastructure upgrades, to the existing Internet or utilities, he said.
Every year, the board of education is audited by the state auditor’s office. If the levy money isn’t spent in the current year, it still has to be used for the same types of purchases in the future.
Continued local support for public schools is essential.
This year’s Marion County enrollment figures showed a slight increase, and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to build in the future.
“We just hope that Marion County’s business outlook and the education outlook are both in the upturn for the future,” Price said. “As more jobs are provided, more people will be able to stay here.”
Opportunities for additional employment and the resulting growth won’t happen without a strong educational system.
We’re confident Marion County voters will continue to be excellent partners in the process.
It’s a Marion County tradition, and its people deserve to be proud.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
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- State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core