Bellaire schools ready for new year

BELLAIRE It looks like Bellaire Local Schools are just about ready for the start of the school year following Monday’s regular board of education meeting.

Superintendent Tony Scott reported the buildings have been getting maintenance through out the summer, including window sealing and restoration work of the clock tower at the high school, tile and carpet replacement work at the middle school, and masonry work at Nelson Field.

“The buildings are in wonderful shape,” he said. “I was out at the elementary school last week it looks brand new. The middle school is clean and looks good and the high school is also great.”

During the legislation report, Scott reported on the state legislation, saying it could have a negative impact on all political subdivisions, not just school district while putting more of a tax burden on local tax payers.

One of the issues is the elimination of the reimbursement for the 12-and-a-half percent “rollback” on new property tax levies.

“What has happened in the past, the state would pick-up 12-and-a-half percent or they would roll that back from the taxpayer,” he said. “That’s been eliminated and that is going to have an impact on all political subdivisions.”

Legislation has also been required in some school district to propose levies that requires them to share local revenue with charter schools.

“It is something that we, not just here in Bellaire but public schools in general, really need to discuss with their communities . . . It’s going to have an impact on our schools,” Scott said.

“(The public) needs to be focused in on this because its not going to just be Bellaire schools or local schools asking for money for levies, its going to be your fire departments, your police all those public entities are going to be in the same boat and its going to fall onto the local tax payers.”

Another proposals in the state legislature include eliminating special elections.

Board member Mike Wallace reported on another proposal in state legislation that will change how Joint Vocational School District operate.

Wallace said the state government to require JVS school boards to be comprised of business leaders.

“It’s just another blatant effort by the state government to try and upset the apple cart,” he said, adding that if the legislation is passed, that the school should pull out of JVS and run the programs at Bellaire Local Schools.

Scott said the move by the state could be the first step to do away with election of local school boards.

“It’s a scary thought. It they start to do that with JVS, the next logical step is going to be the local boards and that just seems un-American,” he said.

The next regular Bellaire Local School Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at Bellaire High School.