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School system names co-chairs for SPLOST election

COVINGTON --Two active education volunteers will serve as citizen co-chairs for the upcoming education SPLOST IV referendum.

The Newton County School System announced this week that Bea Jackson, director of the Washington Street Community Center, and Danny Stone, manager of Economic Development for Snapping Shoals, are the co-chairs.

NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said that members of the Newton County Board of Education were asked to make suggestions by former Board Chair Eddie Johnson, and he, in turn, informed Mathews of the two individuals.

"Both are outstanding contributors to our community and supporters of public education," Mathews said. "We're most fortunate that they have agreed to take on this most important task."

The two planned to meet this week to develop a plan, Stone said.

"Timing is going to be critical because it's less than two months until the election," he said.

Last year, the Newton County Board of Education approved a call for an education SPLOST referendum to extend the existing 1 percent tax for education for a five-year period from 2015 to 2019.

It would be the fourth round of an education SPLOST for the county that started in May 2007.

The tax would be used for capital projects, including a new high school, and to pay the principal and interest on bonds issued for education for the five years that the SPLOST is collected. Other projects could include maintenance and technology needs, and, if necessary, additions to existing school buildings.

Jackson said that she and Stone already have met with Mathews to discuss the SPLOST, and their roles will be to educate people about the system's needs and citizens' concerns regarding the election.

"And to help get out the vote," said Jackson, who has worked on a SPLOST committee for the Newton County Board of Commissioners in the past.

In September 2007, only 6.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the special SPLOST election in Newton County, and 86 percent of those voters approved the continued tax. In 2003, about 10 percent of voters cast ballots in a special SPLOST election.

Jackson said that she and Stone will set up a committee to help assist them.

"We are looking for all good people who are interested in helping," she said.

Interested citizens should contact Jackson at 770-786-4002 or Stone at 770-385-2841 or dstone@ssemc.com.

The group plans to set up meetings with school PTOs, local churches and civic organizations and other groups to present to them information about the referendum. Any group interested in having the committee visit for a meeting also is encouraged to contact Jackson or Stone.

"We're excited," Jackson said. "We've got about a month of hard work ahead. This is a referendum worth getting behind for our kids."

It is estimated that the special SPLOST election will cost about $38,000.

Editor Alice Queen contributed to this article.

Comments

NoSPLOST 1 year, 8 months ago

I urge all voters to go to the polls on March 19th and vote this down. Because the school system was too lazy and preoccupied with other things they failed to get this on the General Election ballot and November costing Newton taxpayers 38,000.00 for just holding this election. Their budget and operations people overlook money up to half a million in costs and have to add and revise yet always dog wanting to boost pay for teachers. I recommend cutting central office salaries and all non-teaching salaries by 20% and support the teachers it's the only way and SPLOST money by law cannot go to paying teachers and we need no new buildings we can't even fill up some of the buildings we have. You can hold more regular classes at the NCCA place where I have been and seen empty classrooms. The school system is banking on silence. If they keep quiet only the ones who vote yes will go. Go vote no new taxes on March 19th. Let NCSS stay messed up with their lawyers and lawsuits and ineffective leaders getting six figure pay and send a message: NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU.

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Thishonky 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree 100%. Cut administrator pay and make all admins teach a class have u seen the system bookkeeper salary 90K??? Seriously insane. Bloated pay all over central office and the ignore u when u call.

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Thishonky 1 year, 8 months ago

And in exchange for six figure pay we get crappy schools.

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TheUpside 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree let's see the board take the lead and change SPLOST laws but for now I agree VOTE NO on this. Until SPLOST can pay salaries for TEACHERS not worthless central office whacks then I say vote NO.

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OnToday 1 year, 8 months ago

We all have to learn to budget. NCSS is no different. The system wastes money and gives nothing in return. This past year has been a prime example of how bad it is. They can appoint whomever they like, the answer is still no.

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dennistay53 1 year, 8 months ago

Anyone voting for this will also be voting on a property tax increase as well. ESPLOST can only be used to build or add on to buildings. Another way will have to be used to staff and run these buildings built with SPLOST. Since millage is topped out they will borrow and Bond for these proceeds as they always do. The bond will showup on your future property tax. The only other way to pay to staff and run these facilities would be an increase in tax base or more money coming from state or federal government, and we know that aint going to happen for awhile. So, if you think you have to vote for this or your property tax is going up- It's going up if this passes.

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Frustrated 1 year, 8 months ago

Until the BOE can show us they are actually being responsible with our tax dollars, they shouldnt get another cent. In the past couple of years there has been so much waste and oversight its ridiculous. The new high school budget was a joke. $550K for lights that werent put in the original contract, money for the water and sewer taps that werent figured in, and so on. Enough is enough!

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John 1 year, 8 months ago

I say NO also, some "great minds" in the BOE already want to replace EHS (that is only 18 years old) so it MAY EVENTUALLY be used for another purpose. Give EHS at least 32 more years before it is replaced like NHS .

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