Wayne County teachers, parents and school administrators are upset about losing sales tax revenue. It's part of the proposed county budget for next year. They demonstrated outside a county Board of Supervisors hearing tonight. Wayne County school districts fear losing nearly $5.5 million.
Money that has been shared with school districts every year for decades. If that happens, property taxes would increase and school programs would be drastically reduced.
Folks who make up this Wayne County community, especially those in the school community, hope their voices are heard.
They want the county Board of Supervisors to know what's at stake if the sales tax revenue is eliminated.
"A lot of small rural districts like ours are already operating on a bare bones budget as it is. with the inequity of the state aid, how it's been. It not really distributed equally and fairly," Anne Cook, Wayne County teacher.
The Wayne County Education Federation says reductions in funding for school programs would devastate athletics, extracurricular and key instructional programs. Steps that would be necessary to cover a budget shortfall.
"This is a massive loss of revenue. So if that were to happen and we were to lose our $5.4 million, that would force all of the school districts in Wayne County to collect on average, raise their school taxes 7.3% next year," said Jason Carter, WCEF President.
This would be on top of a hit the Wayne County schools have already taken recently. 100 teaching positions were eliminated over the past four to five 4-5 years due to a property tax cap and reductions in state aid from Albany.