A message from our superintendent, Mrs. Risden-Smith.
In our regularly scheduled board meeting this evening, the Board of Education, in a 5-0 vote, levied a recallable Nickel Tax to generate additional local revenue of approximately $88,000 annually. This meeting took place this evening following a public hearing.
The Nickel Tax will assist in paying a small part of our district’s annual bond payments that were previously paid by utility tax receipts of more than $800,000 from AK Steel and have since been lost. This decision may also impact us a few years into the future by generating additional state matched funds annually. In a few years we’d receive an approximate $180,000 annually in state matched funds to the district if it is fully equalized in the next biennial budget as it has been 100% of the time historically.
As I’ve shared previously, while this could generate only 1/3 of what has been lost in utility tax receipts, I greatly believe we are now in a position where we can turn around our financial situation and this additional revenue will help in this process.
The action taken by our Board of Education this evening is evidence of their commitment to making student-centered decisions, even difficult decisions such as this, when it’s necessary to improve outcomes for our district not only in the short term, but also the long term. They should be commended for the often thankless work they do for our school district.
Our team of students, educators, parents, and community members will benefit by this decision to allow the Fairview School District an opportunity to move forward and focus on our future. You may ask what does the future hold for Fairview? As far as my part, I assure you that I will lead our district making every effort to ensure that we are astute, innovative, and strategic in all areas of our work now and in the future. I believe the “future Fairview” is a combination of the old and the new. The “old Fairview” where the students, staff, and community have great pride in their school district and are always proud to be an Eagle. A “new Fairview” where our “Fairview Family” will continue to give our students our best with the individualized attention they deserve. This will also ensure students’ future success by preparing them for the changing world around us by challenging them daily to grow at high levels. We will create the absolute best, well rounded, high quality educational opportunities possible in order to provide the greatest future possible for every member of our Fairview Family, old and new alike.
I appreciate our community’s willingness to trust in a vision that they may not believe themselves YET, but will when they see continuous improvement in the future. Many in our community have already stepped up and supported the Nickel Tax before tonight’s vote. I appreciate them for doing so and encourage others who have not supported this tax to believe in a vision for a very promising future for Fairview Independent by supporting this tax and not petitioning it for recall.
Our Board of Education, educators, students, and parents join me in expressing my gratitude to our community in giving financially and getting behind our district in support.