- Huntington High School
Official Statement Regarding Cabell County Schools Excess Levy Planning
“Inflationary costs, decreased state funding resulting from declining student enrollment, and the coming loss of nearly $11 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding are all coming together to create a situation that, in the next year, will place the Cabell County public school district under incredible financial pressure.
The intent of the federal funding the district received was to provide continuity of services and support for students in the years following the COVID-19 pandemic. This included hiring interventionists to address individual learning requirements, and expanding the number of school nurses, social workers, and counselors trained to address children’s health, social and emotional needs. Every student in the district has been provided with a modern, digital device, ensuring they can stay connected and continue learning no matter where instruction takes place.
Many of these initiatives have proven to be highly impactful in addressing the growing needs of students, and the district hopes to continue as many of these supports as possible. However, our funding is not infinite, and it is certain we will have to continue to make reductions.
To assist the school district in minimizing impact on schools and classrooms as it prepares to face these budgetary challenges, the Cabell County Board of Education has proactively begun the process of determining what potential funding priorities will be included as part of a future excess levy.
Priorities for the excess levy being discussed by the Board include funding for employee salaries and benefits; school resource officers and other safety measures; school playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces; athletics; instructional support and school libraries; cybersafety and device security; summer programs; the Cabell County Public Library; and Career and Technical Education and workforce development, among others.
The Cabell County Board of Education has not yet acted with respect to the 2026-2030 excess levy or any funding priorities. With that in mind, I’m confident that any decision that the Board may make with respect to a future excess levy will be in the best interests of the students of Cabell County Schools and consistent with applicable law. The West Virginia Supreme Court has clearly held that statutes which require local school boards to divert a portion of their regular or excess levy receipts to public libraries are unconstitutional and unenforceable. We agree with the West Virginia Supreme Court. Like other public bodies, we sometimes face difficult decisions related to limited resources. Our priority, as the State Constitution requires, must always be our students.
Our Board and I share an appreciation for what our local libraries and parks provide and hope that, regardless of the outcome of funding decisions made regarding the excess levy, we can all continue working for the benefit of our communities and our children.”
- Dr. Ryan S. Saxe, Superintendent, Cabell County Schools