By a show of hands the Muscogee County School Board decided to take their proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax plan to the next level. Now it's up to Columbus voters to decide the district's financial future. "It's totally at the discretion of the voting public. We tell them everything we want to do, we give them all of the information and then let them decide to vote. I hope they'll vote on it.", says School Board Member John Wells.
If voters support the tax referendum which is expected to generate a little over 223 million dollars, they'll be voting for a long list of projects the board is promising to fulfill. Some of those projects are building a brand new Carver High School, constructing two new elementary schools, one new middle school and air conditioning for every school gymnasium...just to name a few.
Now that the board agreed to put this issue up for vote, the next step is convincing Columbus voters to support it. "We'll begin talking about that and the public between now and September. There will be a committee that will work on the campaign,"says Muscogee County Superintendent, Susan Andrews.
That committee will be responsible for getting info out to the public so that they'll be well informed by September.
But Andrews says she's confident the public will support the referendum. "As I've gone around the city and talked to a lot of people, I have not met anybody who's not supportive of public education. They might not always agree with every decision that's been made, but they are very supportive of public education and this is an opportunity for them to continue that support,"says Andrews.
The school board decided to take action on this issue in one day simply because this was the last week by law they could do this.