Tax hike could avert schools' 'tipping point'

Doug Boock
Galva schools, including the elementary school (above), could be aided by a tax increase, school officials say.

What’s the tipping point? At what point is the loss of staff and programming severely damaging Galva students’ educations?

That’s not clear. But whatever that point is, it’s one Galva School District officials are hoping to avoid.

The Galva School Board hosted a tax referendum exploratory forum Monday night. Just a handful of residents turned out for the meeting, held in the high school cafeteria. What they heard was a shaky financial picture for Galva schools. An increase in local funding – taxes – could help, it was said.

As it currently stands, if state and federal funding doesn’t increase, and taxes aren’t raised, Galva School District will have a combined negative balance in three critical accounts – Education, Operations & Maintenance and Transportation in two years.

“If we do nothing, we crash in 2012,” Superintendent Doug O’Riley said.

Galva School District’s overall school tax rate – $4.75 for 2009 taxes payable in 2010 – is about five percent above the $4.53 average of all Henry County school districts, according to information from the Henry County Assessor’s Office.  

The Galva School Board is expected to vote Aug. 25 for or against putting the referendum on the November election ballot.

To see O’Riley’s Monday night presentation in written format, go to the Galva School District website: