Excellent schools? Renew E-SPLOST
We can disagree on politicians and politics, and we can disagree on policy and priorities, but one thing we can all agree on [is] the quality of our excellent Fayette County public schools.
Fayette citizens figured it out decades ago: great public schools are the cornerstone of great communities.
They made the initial investment in quality public schools and this investment returned the profit of well-educated and successful students.
Great schools attract great neighbors, good businesses with jobs that pay good wages, provide wonderful services, and has resulted in the great community we all live in today.
Long-time Fayette residents, and those that came before them, too, built this county around great schools. This is their legacy and their gift to us and it is now our challenge to continue this heritage in these times.
There have been a lot of articles regarding the state of our excellent Fayette County public schools. We are all aware of the $15-20 million shortfall in the coming operating budget and we are all searching for solutions that benefit, protect and advance our excellent public schools.
On Nov. 6, we have the opportunity to maintain the Fayette County Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or ESPLOST and maintain the resources necessary for our schools.
This is the one penny sales tax for capital purchases such as computers, books, buses, the highly successful “bring your own” technology program and building maintenance that we Fayette County residents approved in 2008.
Since then, we — and all those that visit our county and patronize our businesses — have raised more than $60 million for Fayette County schools. In addition, the ESPLOST has even contributed to lowering our property tax bills as the school system was able to charge a lower tax for bond payments that would have otherwise fallen to the taxpayers.
Some may have differences with the ways that our elected officials and appointed administrators have run the school system. Likely you have some good ideas yourself about where investments should be made or savings could be realized.
We need to all come together to find options and solutions to propel our excellent schools in these tough times. There are workshops, school board meetings, and even this newspaper in which we can share our ideas.
I strongly encourage you to participate in these forums, as well as your local school’s PTO, or any other outlet in which you can get your ideas out there.
The ESPLOST isn’t about taxes, education policies, or about school board politics. Those are different votes and different problems that need different solutions.
The ESPLOST is only about one thing: keeping Fayette County schools excellent. It is about maintaining the investment in our community.
Whether you have kids in school or not, the benefit to you is the great community around which our schools is built. On Nov. 6th vote “YES” to continue the ESPLOST and support our excellent Fayette County Public Schools.
Co-Chair, Fayette Citizens for Children
Peachtree City, Ga.