What can a penny buy? School officials rally for SPLOST

By Chauncy Glover - bio | e-mail 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Monday, folks for and against a potential tax increase gathered at Reese Road Elementary for Muscogee County's first of nine SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) referendum meetings.

"Students deserved everything SPLOST can give them for a better education and a better chance at life," says Charles Weaver.

"It has to help all the students equally and If it doesn't do that, the project needs to be removed from the list," says Phillip Lynn, a concerned citizen.

Lynn is referring to a Fine Arts Academy, which is also on the list of suggested project priorities, along with new air conditioning in gymnasiums, land for future sites, two new elementary schools, a new middle school; and also new instructional technology.

"We're bringing the needs to the people and they will decide. There is a need for space and BRAC is apart of this challenge. The need for new classrooms and technology and safe environments for children," says Dr. Andrews.

Dr. Andrews says the school board will ask the voters to allow them to bond a portion of the money to begin projects such as a new Carver High School immediately.

"We don't need to wait and collect the money. Prices are going up and there has never been a cheaper time to build than now," she adds.

Superintendent Andrews says if this penny sales tax is passed, the board plans to have a dime by dime itemized report for the public to see just how the school district is spending the money.

If you missed Monday's meeting. Muscogee County has scheduled additional meetings.

Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 p.m. Downtown Elementary  -- 1400 1st Avenue, District 7

Wednesday, April 1, 6:00 p.m. Columbus High School -- 1700 Cherokee Avenue, District 8

Thursday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. Blackmon Road Middle -- 7251 Blackmon Road, District 6

Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. Northside High School -- 2002 American Way, District 2

Monday, April 27, 6:30 p.m. Fort Middle School -- 2900 Woodruff Farm Road, District 1

Thursday, April 30, 6:30 p.m. Kendrick High School -- 6015 Georgetown Drive, District  4

Monday, May 4, 6:30 p.m. Baker Middle School --1215 Benning Drive, District 3

Monday, May 11, 4:00 p.m. Old Bradley Library (Board Room) 1120 Bradley Drive, at-Large