Muscogee County Schools host first public forum for SPLOST

Muscogee County Schools host first public forum for SPLOST

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County Schools Superintended, Dr. David Lewis, stood in front of a room full of people Thursday, January 29, at Downtown Elementary Magnet explaining why voters need to check yes when it comes to the SPLOST referendum on March 17.

"It is my hope our community will continue to see as they have in the past the need to support out students, to help them be successful in the 21st century economy," says Lewis.

It was the first of eleven meetings held to clarify to the public what SPLOST would be used for.

If the referendum is passed, several educational projects will be funded as well as programs for children with special needs.

"I have two grand kids that go to school and they have special needs too and its good. I think it's a good thing," explains Columbus resident, Betty Cobb.

SPLOST would also fund a new Spencer High School.

Thursday, Lewis explained how the existing facility has severe water damage and a foundation that is shifting.

One Spencer High School alum is against SPLOST and a multi-million dollar new school.

"They do not have the money to maintain these capital investments, so they have this wish list, a want list. It has no impact on student learning whatsoever," explains James McNeely.

Lewis also explained how SPLOST cannot be used for salaries, day to day operations, books or to offset budget shortages.

"I think we need to provide out children in public education in Columbus with the best possible facilities and this SPLOST is going toward a long way of doing that," explains SPLOST campaign Co-chair, Sam Wellborn.

The 2009 SPLOST expired in December and school board members against a new tax believe an audit needs to be done to see how the money was spent.

"This will suck millions and millions of dollars from very, very poor people in Columbus," explains McNeely.

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