Schools canít roll back too far


August 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

While rolling up the St. Charles Parish Public Schools state constitutional tax would only cost resident anywhere from 25 cents to $2.93 a year, the high cost of everything from gas to food makes even that amount hard for residents to part with.

At least that's what five concerned residents told the board at a public hearing last week.

All of those that spoke were concerned that the school system ended the year with a fund balance of $21 million, and giving the schools any more money would be pointless.
While the schools do need that money to remain competitive in teachers'salaries and deal with the high cost of insurance, a couple of the residents felt that the schools were making unwise spending decisions - specifically pointing out the new turf stadiums.

And those residents do have a point. One speaker said that the school system will have to budget its money just like everyone else in the parish.

But the main reason that the school system needs to roll up the millage from 4.01 to 4.1 is that once the tax is lowered, the schools can never raise it.

Originally, every school district in the state had 5 mills of constitutional tax. That amount has eroded over the years due to various roll backs.

If the state constitutional tax is rolled back, who knows how damaging that could be if the school system is faced with another natural disaster somewhere down the line?

Many people that call the parish home moved into the area because of the school system. In fact, when someone learns that you are from St. Charles Parish, the first thing they usually mention is how "good the schools are there."

If the school system hopes to remain as one of the top in the state, it will have to pay to remain that way.




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