CLINTON — The Clinton School board on Monday passed a resolution to continue participation in the Instructional Support program, which will continue for a period of five years beginning July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2013.

Following Monday’s board meeting the public has 28 days to object to the board action. According to School District Business Director Gayle Isaac, the final day to object is Aug. 7.

To object to the resolution, a petition must be filed with the district’s business director which, according to Isaac, must contain 401 signatures.

Clinton County Auditor Charlie Sheridan told the Herald on Wednesday that the number of required signatures is determined by the number of people who voted in the last school board election.

According to Sheridan, 1,353 voters cast ballots in the last election held in September.

If a petition is presented then the school board has the option of withdrawing the resolution or ask Sheridan to place it on a ballot and hold a special election. Isaac said it cost the district $8,337 to hold a special election to renew the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy in March 2006.

The funds for the ISL come from a combination of state aid, income surtax and property tax dollars.

Money generated may be used for instructional services, ongoing programs or any general fund purpose including teacher salaries.

The ISL cannot be used for dropout prevention or talented and gifted programs, physical plant and equipment needs, management needs or special education deficits.

Isaac says the ISL generates nearly $140 million for state schools.

Last year, school districts received $14.4 million through state aid; $64.6 through the income surtax and another $83.2 million from property tax dollars.

Last year the Clinton district received $188,888 from the state, $1,028,289 from the surtax and $105,418 from property tax for a total funding of $1.3 million.

Since the community originally passed the levy, the board has increased the levy rate by 1 percent each year since its inception with a levy rate of 9 percent being set for the 2007-2008 school year. Ten percent is the maximum that can be levied.

By increasing the levy rate by 1 percent, an extra $200,000 was added to the 2007-2008 budget, but even with the increase, the district is left with a $272,000 shortfall next year.

At a levy rate of 9 percent, Clinton residents will be assessed a property tax rate of 26 cents per $1,000 property evaluation and an 8 percent state income tax surtax rate.

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