We’ve made progress on improving the education system here in Newton County, but in order to attract more businesses like Baxter International, and retain them, we need to strive every day to continually improve our education further.
Despite any criticisms you’ve heard, we believe that a major way we, as the public, can help that happen is by voting yes to the education SPLOST either during early voting, which ends today, or at the polls on Tuesday, March 19. We need to voluntarily choose to continue paying the 1 percent sales tax on our local purchases because that money goes directly to our schools.
As we’ve covered in many recent stories, the education SPLOST will pay for new buildings, the repair of old buildings, new buses, technology and security equipment.
Sadly, SPLOST funds cannot be used for salaries or operations. But really, that doesn’t matter, because the building and technology upgrades have to be made at some point, and it just so happens that SPLOST is the major funder of such undertakings.
That allows the general fund to be used for salaries and maintenance. If we vote down the SPLOST by voting no, we’ll be handing our school system an annual $11 million cut to its budget.
Who would possibly vote for that? Can anyone seriously advocate for cutting $11 million from a school system that has already suffered massive cuts since the economic downturn and has been shortchanged more than $50 million in state funding in recent years as well?
Understand this: we’re not for raising taxes. However, we are for supporting education, and continuing to support an existing tax that does direct good for the school system, that educates our future leaders is a no-brainer.
Plus, the SPLOST is a sales tax, which means that everybody contributes, not just property owners and not just Newton County residents. Even out-of-towners who spend money as they are passing through, contribute to SPLOST.
Other people will help us pay for our children’s education? Yes, and we need it.
We urge you to talk with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to go with you to the polls today or Tuesday, March 19 and vote yes to support the future of our children and the county. Newton County leaders have big plans for the future of the county.
Vote yes for the education SPLOST and let’s keep the progress going.