Waterloo School Board approves tax levy

The Waterloo School Board approved the tax levy for 2015-16 following a public hearing Monday night.

“We’re levying an overall 6.5-percent increase,” school superintendent Brian Charron said. “That’s just in order to be able to capture any new growth that may exist, but we’re still at the maximum rates in every fund.”

School board member Dwight Schaefer further explained how the tax levy is figured.

“I know it looks like we’re raising your taxes 7 percent, but basically this is a point in the budget where we have to guess what our assessed valuation of the county is,” Schaefer said. “Your taxes aren’t going to go up 7 percent. We’re just putting a higher number in there hoping that we’re going to capture any additional growth.”

Charron said the best thing for the district’s students is to capture all available revenue, while continuing to talk about how to make budget cuts in a way that impacts the students in the classroom the least.

After discussing the issue with attendees of the public hearing, the board approved the tax levy.

The board also discussed the Illinois Report Card for the district. Curriculum coordinator John Schmieg said that since this is a fairly new process, the district is collecting “baseline data” for the future.

“To compare what we’re doing now with what we’ve done in the past is pretty difficult,” Schmieg said. “Kids are learning different things and teachers are teaching in different ways, and the way we’re being assessed on that is different now.”

Looking through the report card, Schmieg said all of the schools in the district are growing academically.

“This report card suggests that our students are growing compared to the state and other students in the grades,” Schmieg said.

To view Illinois Report Card data, visit www.illinoisreportcard.com and search for Waterloo.

In other board action:

•The hire of a full-time special education paraprofessional, Melissa Lammert, for the 2014-15 school year was approved.

•The course guide for the next school year will be approved at the December meeting.

•The board accepted a letter of resignation from Kathy Perkins, elementary teacher, effective Oct. 24.

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