VARDEN—The Western Wayne School Board of Directors formally adopted their 2017-2018 budget at their recent meeting, Monday night.

As previously reported, the approved budget is $49,459,376 with a millage rate of 16.7024. The rate has not increased from the previous year.

The board gave final approval for Real Estate Transfer Tax, set at $0.50 per every $100 of the transfer's total value.

The final approved homestead/farmstead exclusion was set at $210.50 for all qualified properties in the district.

This number represents a reduction that will be subtracted from qualifying properties' tax assessments.

Interested persons can receive full documentation regarding the homestead/farmstead exclusion from the District Office.

Board Secretary Rose Emmett clarified at the meeting that the $49 million budget total represents the combination of her original $43 million operational estimate and an additional $6 million available in the fund balance at the end of this year.

The board approved the Emmett's use of the current fund balance in future budgets later that evening.

In giving his Treasurer's Report, Jeffrey Gogolski stated an excess reserve in the health consortium granted the district a $1.4 million dollar refund.

This money was deposited into this year's fund balance.


Administration Salaries

Western Wayne school board approved administrator's salaries via a three-year agreement in accordance with Act 93 at their meeting Monday evening.

During public comment earlier that night, Laura Davis addressed the board, inquiring why administration salaries were not published numerically in the same manner as teacher salaries.

Her question referred to a past meeting in which teachers were hired alongside an administrator. The teachers' salaries were listed numerically whereas the administrator's only made reference to Act 93.

“In the name of transparency, if you're going to list everybody's salaries, all the teachers' salaries, you probably should have listed the other one with it,” said Davis.

In responding to her question at the meeting, Superintendent Matthew Barrett stated that the board would approve the Act 93 salaries later that evening.

In a later discussion over the phone, Emmett clarified that teachers' salary agreements had already been negotiated at that time Davis referenced, whereas the Act 93 salaries had yet to be finalized.

The board secretary also stated that Act 93 salaries are not made public until after an agreement is reached.

Any curious member of the public may request the appropriate documentation by submitting a “Right to Know” request form, available from the district's website.