School days are underway in Monroe County

August 15 – Students and teachers returned to the classroom in Monroe County last Wednesday.

Sue Woltanski, Monroe County School Board member for District 5, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s happening in the district.

With the start of school, residents are reminded to watch for children and buses in the city.

Also, sports have begun again as well. This Friday will see pre-season opening games for football.

Woltanski said, “There’s nothing more fun on a Friday night at a high school football game.”

The start of the school year has brought some real excitement.

Woltanski said, “I want to remind people that it’s not just that you have to go slow in school zones, but you’re not allowed to use cell phones in school zones.”

Budget season has arrived and the plan was outlined at last Tuesday’s school board meeting, where there is a $5.5 million reduction.

The district also will see the lowest tax rate since 2008.

Woltanski explained, “Most of our taxes are set by the state. We have flexibility on a few things like our local millage rates. Those a month ago were asked to be reduced. So we saw the first budget with the reduced millage rate last week.”

A workshop on the budget will be held on August 30 and a public hearing on the final budget will be held in September. Anyone with questions on the budget is encouraged to attend those meetings.

Woltanski said, “The current millage rates now, anyone who is homesteaded will see a significant reduction in their taxes. Anyone who’s not homesteaded will see a small reduction in their taxes and if you purchased a home in the last year with the sky rocketing home values, you will see a smaller tax rate than was predicted to you at your closing.”

The rise in property values is what has allowed the decrease in the millage rate.

A referendum on the ballot for the August 23 primary will ask voters to shift millage from capital projects to operating expenses in the district.  

Woltanski said, “This is a renewal of a flexible funding initiative that we’ve had for almost 20 years now and for our schools it’s the most important think on the August 23 ballot. A lot of people, non-partisan voters think oh it’s a primary, so there’s nothing for me to vote on, but this millage needs to pass or we will see an 18% reduction in the amount of funds we have for teacher’s salaries, which would represent either an 18% salary cut to teachers or a reduction in the workforce of over 200 positions. It’s something that’s hard to imagine. If we want to continue this great school year, we need to have a yes vote on that referendum.”

The district sill has opening for bus drivers and extracurricular bus drivers who would only drive to sporting events or extracurricular activities.

Woltanski said, “That is a great job for the parent of a football player who wants to go to all of the away games and they would get paid.”

Anyone interested in any job in the district click here: