Hancock County schools to vote over next two weeks on 1% sales tax
CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) – Over the next two weeks, school districts in Hancock County will vote on whether or not they want to see a 1% sales tax increase on the 4 april.
Money generated from the levy would be used solely for school building improvements, school resource officers and mental health professionals.
This means salaries, benefits, supplies, and other operational costs are omitted.
City of Dallas Elementary Superintendent Alissa Tucker said she envisions the majority of what the tax will make possible.
“It would give us an income that we could count on and plan for so we could do long-term planning and keep our building more up-to-date,” Tucker said.
Tucker added that it’s not often the district manages to complete large projects due to lack of funding.
Right now, Tucker said the district has more than $200,000 worth of improvements to make. This includes corroded pipes, an exhaust fan for the school kitchen and a new HVAC system.
“For us to be able to do a big project is just not feasible,” Tucker said.
Tucker also noted that the district would likely seek a school resource officer in the event the 1% sales tax passes.
At Carthage Elementary School District, staff is the primary concern. Although the funding does not pay teachers, Superintendent Dustin Day said the district will use the money to pay the school’s social worker.
In return, opening the possibility of employing specialists in mathematics and reading.
“We could potentially add and use a reading specialist and someone extra staff to help with our COVID issues that all schools are facing. [educational] the gaps are widening,” Day said.
Mikea Toubekis is a teacher who said she saw the gap widen firsthand. Toubekis said it has also changed the way teachers educate their students.
“Instead of doing something like an intervention where I would work with two or three kids, I started teaching the whole group to get back to those basic basics,” Toubekis said.
Toubekis said a specialist could take the children apart for individual learning.
“Everyone accesses their ability to read at some point,” Toubekis said. “Some kids are opening it early and some are opening it late, but it looks like since COVID we’ve seen a huge change.”
If the majority of school districts vote yes, then that would require the regional superintendent to put the proposal on the ballot. It would then be up to the voters of Hancock County to put the tax increase into effect.
Hancock County schools study potential for 1% sales tax
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