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Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Christy Miller

Upshur County Board of Education to place revised excess levy on May 2024 ballot, addressing underfunded areas

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Board of Education has officially called for the excess levy to appear on the May 14, 2024, ballot.

Board members approved the call for the levy during their Jan. 23, 2024, meeting at the Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Upshur County Schools superintendent Christy Miller read the official language required to put the item on the ballot.

“An order of the board of education of the county of Upshur (acting by and through the West Virginia board of education, by its designee, the state superintendent of schools) directing the submission to the voters of Upshur County at the primary election to be held on May 14, 2024, all questions connected with the approval of additional levies to provide sufficient funds to pay the general current expenses of said board commencing July 1, 2024, continuing July 1, 2025, July 1, 2026, July 1, 2027 and July 1, 2028,” Miller said.

Board member Roy Wager asked if this is the same levy that failed to pass by a narrow margin in 2022.

“This is the same levy with increased expenses,” Miller replied. “The increased expenses I can tell you are based on a spreadsheet that had been kept about expenses from the current levy, but some of those expenses did not show up properly and have been discovered as they’ve been working through the audit. We found the current levy did not have enough funding in some of these areas — in particular, in contracted services, as well as the student and community-related services.”

Miller said they evaluated the last four levies before they made the decision to increase expenses.

“I spent the last three months going back through the last four levies, and then I did ask for an expense accounting on how this current levy was being spent,” Miller said. “That’s where we discovered there were some underfunded areas.”

The full excess levy document can be found on the BOE website here. The document will show voters how the item will appear on the ballot. Miller also outlined how the $3.8 million levy will be spent if it passes in a previous My Buckhannon story.

The excess levy failed to pass during the Nov. 8, 2022, general election, where it was defeated by a slim margin of 166 votes – 3,164 to 2,998. The expiration of the current levy is July 1, 2024.

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