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Montgomery Needs SPLOST Approval
Tuesday, 05 October 2010

October 5--  The Montgomery County school system ended the fiscal year with just under $20,000 in its general fund.  After experiencing state budget cuts of nearly 24 percent in the last three years, the school board says its critical that voters approve extension of the school system's one percent sales tax for education when they go to the polls November 2.

In fact, if they don't, School Superintendent Dr. Lynn Batten says an increase in county property taxes will be needed.  "If we only have the regular general fund, we're going to be in real difficulty.  In fact, if we didn't have that (the sales tax), we probably would be requesting additional property tax increases," he said at Monday night's school board meeting.

School board chairman Randall Morris says the sales tax is the fairest way to help pay for many big ticket items in the school system.  "We're in really tight budgetary times right now and it's important for us to able to handle the needs through the sales tax.  Most people call it a fair tax because when you spend money in the county, those taxes go to support the school system and it helps us to keep our property taxes at a lower level," he reminds voters.

Meanwhile, one school board member is putting her money where her mouth is.  Deloris James of Alston informed the board that, to date, she has donated $1,365.25 to various school activities and organizations.  She says that represents all of her school board member salary minus withholding.

ImageSchool Superintendent Dr. Lynn Batten presents Certificate of Achievement to school system staff member Ericka Clark.

The Montgomery school board applauded the middle school for making adequate yearly progress on a retest, and it honored Human Resources manager Ericka Clark for helping the system meet state standards with a faculty of 100 percent "highly qualified" teachers.

Image Middle School Principal Dr. Marvin Howard displays photo of Jacey Thomas in Plains with President Jimmy Carter.

ImageIt also honored sixth grader Jacey Thomas for coming in second among 12,000 students who competed in the Plains Peanut Festival postcard contest.  The high point for Jacey was meeting former President Jimmy Carter.  "It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet a former President.  It made me feel like I was on top of the world getting to meet him.  He said 'Congratulations Jacey, you're doing a good job and just keep on doing what you're doing,'" she reported.

Jacey is in teacher Lisa Parker's gifted class at Montgomery County Middle School and is class president.  Her mom is Julie Adams of Mount Vernon.

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