Members of the St. Clair County Board of Education expressed their desire for a “yes” vote towards a resolution on the Nov. 3 ballot that would affect school funding throughout the county.
Known as a “district option,” the passing of this resolution would allow districts within the county to raise funding via taxation for their local schools if they choose to do so.
While this is not a new tax on the county, it would allow for a future tax increase down the line if a district chose to increase funding towards their schools. The resolution is specifically earmarked for capital improvement projects.
County schools Superintendent Mike Howard, along with other members of the board, believes a “yes” vote is necessary in order to increase funding for schools in the future.
“As superintendent it is important to me to build new schools and to upgrade existing schools,” Howard said. “In order to do that, we need to increase funding.”
While voting “no” would stop any future increase in a resident’s taxes towards schools, it would stonewall any chance of increasing funding. The resolution would simply allow a raise in taxes as an option, rather than an inevitability.
According to Howard, all should be in favor of the resolution because of the power it would give to the local level.
“A ‘yes’ vote benefits everyone in the future, whether they want taxes or not,” Howard said. “It allows for more local control.”
Howard also says that the county is far behind in funds needed for capital improvement of their schools. Therefore, an increase in funding is necessary in his eyes. He says that it would take over 1,000 years at their current pace to raise the funds needed for capital improvement of all their schools.
With election day swiftly approaching, Howard encourages residents to build signs to spread awareness of the importance of the vote.