BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. - A special election was held on Saturday to renew the school levy rates for five more years. It passed by a large margin and will generate $29.4 million each year, with more than half the proceeds going towards teacher's salaries and benefits.
"That's important to us because that helps us become competitive in the market, to be able to recruit and hire quality educators for the students here in Berkeley County," said Director of Communications, Elaine Bobo.
The money will also be used to provide books, materials and other technologies in the classrooms.
"One of the first things that business and industry look into when they come to a new community is, 'What does your education system look like?'" Bobo added. "By being able to provide and offer a quality education system to students and our residents, it helps to actually attract business to the community."
Even though much of the money is going towards the salary and benefits for teachers, it's also being distributed to other county organizations.
"The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation, the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Library, the 4-H program here in the Eastern panhandle, as well as the health department," Bobo said.Administrators said they're happy with the turnout from county voters.
"We just really want to thank the public for their vote of confidence," Bobo said. "For our teachers, it just means so much to them to know that the community stands behind them."
100 percent of the funds stay in the county, and the other county departments use the funds in their budget anyway they choose.