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Wayne Post
  • Schools worried about losing county sales tax revenue

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  • NEWARK — As if unfunded state mandates and the stress of complying with national Common Core Standards weren’t enough, the Newark Board of Education voiced concerns Wednesday night, Nov. 6 about fighting a backyard assault from Wayne County.
    Schools Superintendent Matt Cook, who said he had spoken to local officials, warned the school board that Wayne County supervisors planned to discuss the program that shares local sales-tax revenue with the 11 county school districts. (See A1 story.)
    “If that sales tax revenue doesn’t come to us, how much do we lose?” asked board member Roberta Colacino.
    “$800,000,” Cook said. “That’s our part of the $5.4 million dispersed among the 11 school districts.”
    “That would create an ongoing hole in our budgets,” board member Andrew Correia said.
    This isn’t the first time the county has explored the idea — it’s an appropriation in years past that became the topic of heated discussion as supervisors argued this money could be put to use to help ease the county tax burden.
    Wayne County is the only county in the state to give sales tax revenue to its school districts.
    Cook urged board members to attend the Nov. 12 supervisors’ Finance Committee meeting, and the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 19.
    School funding is a very hot topic throughout the state and on Nov. 20, the school board will hold a brief business meeting and then attend en masse an “eduAction Rally” at Canandaigua Academy with school finance expert Rick Timbs as the main speaker. School board members are inviting Newark Village Board and Arcadia Town Board members to join them.
    In other news from the board meeting:
    • Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino urged the board to hire a clerk of the works for upcoming capital projects, “someone from Newark to represent and look out for local taxpayers.” He said when the district relies on a general contractor, “they don’t always send the best people.” He cited as an example work that was done 10 years ago at Perkins School that left unsightly utility wires across the street, wires that should have been underground.
    • Ryan Kreuser, an Eagle Scout, was commended for his donation of six benches he built that have been placed at the tennis courts and four more that will be used throughout the district.
    • The district is forming a new consolidated safety committee, and one of the first issues to be addressed is traffic in the bottleneck between the high school and middle school.
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