Townhalls slated for school levy in Hancock

NEW CUMBERLAND — Officials with Hancock County Schools have scheduled two townhall meetings for residents to learn more about the levy renewal set to appear on the Nov. 6 ballots.

Townhalls will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the Weir High School gymnasium and at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Oak Glen High School gymnasium.

If passed, the levy would continue to generate nearly $8 million per year and be in effect until 2023, for a total of close to $40 million, according to information provided by school officials. There would be no increase to tax rates if the levy is renewed by voters, it was noted.

Officials have scheduled for funding to be distributed in the following areas each year:

¯ $800,000 to school safety and security, including prevention resource officers, contracted security, security technology, secured entrance and exit doors and overall safety and security enhancements.

¯ $40,000 to instructional materials like books, equipment and classroom furniture.

¯ $70,000 to provide professional support services to assist with child abuse and child neglect cases.

¯ $325,000 to provide free breakfast and lunch to all enrolled students of Hancock County Schools.

¯ $275,000 to provide services to programs and equipment for students within the autism spectrum; to provide homebound, occupational therapy, physical therapy and psychological services to Hancock County Schools, to contract with agencies for student and professional services such as, but not limited to, technology, hearing impaired, and vision impaired.

¯ $100,000 to improve access to technology in the classroom.

¯ $775,652 to maintain and improve outdoor athletic fields, grounds and indoor gymnasiums; and to provide for capital improvements, renovation, repair, maintenance, replace roofs and heating and ventilation/air-conditioning in Hancock County Board of Education-owned structures

¯ $3.75 million to increase dental and optical insurance for eligible professional and service employees; salary supplements, which include administrative salaries, fees for employees to oversee academic and athletic trips for public and parochial schools, additional extra-curricular athletic positions, including athletic trainer, athletic sponsors for high school and middle school programs; substitute positions for professional and service positions; extra duty salary supplements for curricular and non-curricular positions; and annual supplemental contracts for summer school, counselor, Saturday School, enrichments programs, etc.

¯ $100,000 to maintain duplicating equipment and provide supplies.

¯ $40,000 to Hancock County Extension Service.

¯ $100,000 to legal and medical services.