By Pat Pratt
The final meeting of the Triad schools for 2022 saw approval of several items, including a tax levy increase, a change of sports associations at the middle school and the renewal of a dual-credit program at the high school.
The meeting Monday opened with a Truth-in-Taxation hearing on the tax levy increase. No members of the public voiced concerns over the proposed increase of 5.49% in total for 2022. Total property tax in 2021 were $30,374,724 and this year are estimated to be $32,040,984.
Board members voted unanimously to pass the increase. District Superintendent Jason Henderson said while the tax levy will increase, taxpayers should see a decrease in the individual tax rates per assessed valuation. Any decrease in the tax rates will not be final, however, until the county assessor sets the rate around May of 2023.
Henderson said for the past six years, however, those rates have gone down. He presented data at the meeting that showed in 2015 the rate per $100 of assessed valuation was 5.3221. In 2021, the rate was 5.0028.
“Obviously the tax levy is a yearly process we have to go through,” Henderson said. “It’s nice to be able to do a tax levy where we project the tax rate will actually go down. This will be the seventh straight year we have been able to do that.”
Board members during the meeting also voted to approve the transition of Triad Middle School from the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association to the Illinois Elementary School Association for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.
Reasons for the change listed in board documents include the IESA association with the Illinois High School Athletic Association, of which the high school is already a member. Postseason tournaments in the new association will include regional and section events along with the state tournament. Wrestling will also have a postseason with the new association.
Principal Matt Noyes said Triad Middle School has seen a lot of success in the Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association. However, the change will allow athletes to enter a new playing field with local districts which are already members of the IESA, such as Edwardsville.
“We believe the IESA truly is a kind of little brother to IHSA, in which our high school athletes and coaches participate in that association,” Noyes said. “We are really excited about the opportunity from a competitive standpoint – to see some of the best competition in the state.”
Renewal of a cooperative agreement with Southwestern Illinois College for a dual credit program, was also approved during the meeting. Named “Running Start,” the program will offer students, beginning their junior year, a path to an associates degree. Seniors, through the program, can obtain a full year of college credit leading up to graduation.
Students must meet academic requirements and be on track to graduate to be considered. Cost for one year of the program, which is set to begin in May 2023, is $4,318 and parents will be billed following registration.
In other news from the meeting, an overnight trip for the Triad High School Dance team was approved. The 10-member team will participate in the Illinois Drill Team Association State Finals on Feb. 10-11 in Springfield and plans to cover its own lodging costs, while the district will provide transportation.