WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County property owners won't see a levy rate increase from the school board this year, in fact the bond levy rate will decrease very slightly.
The county school board met in a special session Tuesday night to lay levy rates for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Voters approved a bond in 2009 to pay for new school construction, and each year an additional levy on top of the base and excess levies generate funds to make debt payments. As assessed property values rise each year, the rate inches downward because the debt payments are flat year to year.
The board's agenda was otherwise sparse, and board members spent a portion of the meeting discussing the recently passed education bill with Superintendent Chuck Hatfield.
The biggest changes for Putnam County will have to do with the school calendar and employee hiring policies.
The board has already approved a calendar for the 2013-2014 school year, though it has not yet submitted it to the state Board of Education. Hatfield told the board he did not anticipate changing the calendar for next year.
"We did get some instructions late this afternoon on the calendar for next year, and it's our understanding that while there were changes in the legislation to the calendar, next year would remain the same," Hatfield said.
The new legislation gives counties 48 weeks instead of 43 to get in 180 instructional days each year and has slightly different requirements for faculty senate days. The changes will be effective for the 2014-2015 school year.
Hatfield told the board that once he gets instruction for the state about the new hiring policies, the county will make sure its policies are in compliance.
He also told the board that central office employees with teaching certification will be required to substitute teach three days each year.
"The rationale is that it would save a little bit of money and also keep central office people connected," Hatfield said.
The board will meet a third time this month at 7 p.m. April 29 at the central office in Winfield. All meetings are open to the public.