COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Muscogee County Public Education building was full Monday, March 9, as people explained why residents should vote yes or no to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST.
"Our status quo school systems has failed and is failing thousands of past and present students and consequently our community," explained resident James McNeely.
"I would really encourage all the parents and community members to not turn the clock back now," said Columbus resident Teresa Elamin.
This was the final school board meeting before the special election next Tuesday and the last chance residents have to voice their concerns to board members.
"We must provide all the support and all the tools in order for Dr. Lewis and our leaders to succeed, the SPLOST will do that," said Yes! For Kids co-chair Sam Wellborn.
Early voting continues through Friday in Muscogee County at the Citizens Service Center.
Over the past several weeks those for and against the penny sales tax tried to get their message out to voters.
"Sometimes it a really good reason to pay a little or no tax and if there has even been a fair sales tax it's a sales tax. I want us to become one and let's get this job done," explained resident Paul Voorhees.
The tax is expected to generate more than $190 million over five years for school improvement projects.
Among the projects slated for renewed SPLOST funding would be a new Spencer High School and improved programming for children with autism.
"I want to ensure you we are not a falling system and the best is yet to come," explained Superintendent Dr. David Lewis.
The final of the 11 public meetings hosted by Lewis is Tuesday, March 10 at the Columbus Public Library at 6 p.m.