N’hamp. BOE requests $800,000

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners were informed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter on Monday of a plan to consolidate Northampton County schools by next school year.

The BOE plan requires an additional $800,000 from the county.

The new plan is the result of the March 15 referendum on the ballot asking for 9.92 cents (per $100 of valuation) as a supplemental tax to build a $34 million central middle/high school.

Voters overwhelmingly defeated the measure by 88 percent against to only 12 percent for it.

“Now that the citizens have voted against the option to build a new centrally located school,” Woofter said, “the Northampton County Board of Education is in the process of reviewing a plan that would result in the consolidation of schools and reconfiguring of grade levels on existing campuses.”

She said the school system has had three facility studies conducted since 2005 and have decided on the plan that would move most students out of the district’s older schools and into newer schools.

“We have estimated the beginning costs for implementation of the plan that is under consideration to be around $800,000,” said Woofter.

She said consolidation for the 2016-17 school year must happen, so the school district needs the additional funding to get started.

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to tour all county schools on April 5 (today), and will be able to see what the district has planned.

Woofter said, “We are open to scheduling a joint meeting between both boards or between the board chairpersons.”

No decision was reached Monday by the Commissioners.