The Effingham Unit #40 Board of Education approved a tentative tax levy for 2016, payable in 2017, at Monday night’s meeting. The levy will not be finalized until next month’s meeting, after a special “Truth in Taxation” hearing. Superintendent Mark Doan suggested that with rising costs, the district would likely have to raise their tax levy.
While the district is increasing their tax levy this year, by about 5.72%, the tax rate itself could possibly be down for next year. The current rate sits at $3.61 per $100 assessed valuation, next year’s could drop a few cents to around $6.57.
The tentative total amount of taxes to be levied for 2016 comes to $14,014,000.00. Unit #40 receives 64% of its funding from local taxes and has the 7th lowest tax rate in the southern part of the state.
The board also heard a presentation from Kathey Nava-Sifuentes, Program Coordinator for the Unit #40 Mentoring Program. The program involves community members mentoring at-risk students at least once a week. Students are recommended for the program by teachers and are then approached by mentoring staff to see if they are willing to participate. At-risk could factors could include anything from students whose parents are not active in their lives, to students with health problems that interfere with their classes or ability to socialize. Nava-Sifuentes says the program has been successful over the years.
The program is 17 years old and has 153 students and mentors and is continuing to grow. Some mentors work with their students beginning in 2nd or 3rd grade all the way through high school graduation.