Bridgeville Events
Thursday, April 4, 2002

For reading, students get ride in limousine

By Mike McClure
Woodbridge Elementary School rolled out the red carpet for 36 students who received a limo ride as part of the Accelerated Reader program on Thursday, March 28. The school had balloons, a red carpet and signs for the students, who were picked to go to lunch in a limousine at a reading assembly in February. Gene’s Limo Service provided the students with a limo ride to the Golden Corral, where they had lunch. The students were: second graders Ryan Tull, Taylor Walls, Ashleigh Sturgis, Iesha Hall-MacDonald, Jenna Hochstedler, and Ronika Frazier; third graders Joey Smith, Jesse Shoemaker, Brianne McDowell, David Marvel, Ashley Lantosh, and Demond Anderson; fourth graders Liz Walk, Rayshawn Palmer, Dana Cranmer, Mario Hernandez, Alex Barday, and Cameron Smith; fifth graders Amanda Slater, Robbie Pleasanton, Morgan Weaver, Tyre Avence, Glenda Wright, Dulce Balderas, and Alexandria Blades; and sixth graders Ronisha Anderson, Chris Armentrout, Ted McLaughlin, Devon Cuffee, Elizabeth Towers, Daniel Green, and Holly Williamson.

Budget cuts ‘inevitable’ in Woodbridge

For your information:
The Woodbridge School Board will next meet Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. in the district office at Woodbridge Elementary School, Greenwood. The meeting is open to the public. For details, call 349-1421.

By Lynn R. Parks
In the wake of the failure of the Woodbridge School District’s most current referendum, school board president Mike Breeding said that budget cuts are inevitable. “We have some crucial decisions to make about the budget,” he said. “If we have to cut athletics, we have to cut athletics. If we have to ask students to pay to play sports, we will have to do it. We will have to make cuts across the board.” Last Tuesday, voters turned down a district request for a 14.5-percent increase in school taxes. Passage of the referendum would have meant an average increase in the school tax bill of $42.67 a year. The referendum was defeated by a vote of 876 to 682. The tax increase would have given the district an additional $310,698 in local funds. In addition, the district would have qualified for $383,610 in state equalization funds that it cannot get now. “That is free money, that I don’t think the public understands that we lost,” Breeding said. Woodbridge voters last approved a current expense increase 15 years ago. In May, they approved a boost in debt service taxes to fund construction of a $13 million middle school at the site of the Early Education Childhood Center in Bridgeville. Construction is slated to be completed in time for the 2004-2005 school year. But at the same time that voters approved construction of the school, they turned down by a narrow margin of 40 votes a request for increased current expense money to fund the school. Superintendent Kevin Carson said before Tuesday’s vote that without more current expense money, the district will not be able to afford to open the new school. Breeding said last week that construction plans will not change. He added that the district will try again for an increase in current expense money. “We will go to referendum until it passes,” he said. Carson said that he was disappointed in the lack of community support for the referendum. “We will just have to unfortunately make more financial adjustments to come in line with the budget,” he said. Breeding also admitted to disappointment in the vote. “The public does not know what is going on,” he said. He said that he was recently approached by a voter, who suggested that the school find a way to get money other than taxes. “They don’t realize that this is the only way we have to raise funds.” He said that the only way to get a referendum passed is by educating voters regarding the district’s needs. “But I don’t know how to educate them,” he said. “I beg for people to come to board meetings, but they are not interested. Our public participation is nil.” He added that by voting against referendums, the community is not hurting the board or the administration. “This is all for the kids,” he said. “And they are suffering.”