District shows reasons county should set taxes

info@islandpacket.comAugust 4, 2013 

In response to the editorial about Jasper County school spending, not all the information was presented.

Jasper County Council has fiscal authority over the tax levy for the schools. From the 2012 school year to 2013, attendance dropped by approximately 600 students. The superintendent promoted her consolidation plan based on saving the district a million dollars. There are some in the upper echelon of the district office who have received salary increases of 10 percent and 20 percent.

There is a condemned asset owned by the school district. An offer to buy it for $800,000 was sent to the district on June 21. A decision wasn't made to accept the offer. Instead, a lawsuit was filed in mid-July because the district would have $400,000 less with the county's tax cut.

This frivolous lawsuit demonstrates why the county should retain fiscal authority And the recently released federal score tells us more. The district's score hit an all-time low, dropping from 39.5 in 2012 to 27.3 in 2013; below 60 is an F. Do we really want the district to have fiscal autonomy, when it fails to achieve its primary objective -- educating children? I think not.

Denise Davidson

Ridgeland

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