The Joplin Board of Education will set the district’s property tax levy for the upcoming school year during a meeting Tuesday, as well as consider an updated audiovisual system for the auditorium at North Middle School.

The agenda for the meeting as released contained no items regarding a recent decision to make the wearing of masks voluntary in almost all situations in district buildings. Last week, more than 100 physicians asked the Joplin board as well as other area school boards to reconsider recent decisions and require universal mask wearing. Masks have been found to limit the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the physicians wrote, and noted that spread in schools during the last school year was limited because of masks.

One of the doctors who signed the letter was Michael Joseph, a member of the Joplin board who voted against the policy during a special meeting held Aug. 13.

Board President Jeff Koch said last week that the board had held two special meetings earlier about the issue. While he said the board would review the letter, he said it would likely not be anytime soon.

In other business Tuesday:

The board will consider setting a total property tax levy of $3.66 for the 2021-22 school year, which is expected to generate about $38.5 million, according to documentation provided to board members. Last year’s levy was set at $3.6964 per $100 assessed valuation, with about $2.75 of the levy going to the district’s general fund and about 91 cents going to its debt service fund, if approved.

A public hearing for the levy will be part of Tuesday’s meeting.

The consent agenda includes measures for setting nonresident tuition rates, facility use fees for buildings such as the high school’s performing arts center, declaring modular classrooms at Kelsey Norman Elementary as surplus and a number of policy changes.

 

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Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.