Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
|Parish schools need more than money|
For the first time in many years, Franklin Parish voters approved new tax initiatives dedicated to the parish school system.
Nearly 60 percent of the voters who went to the polls on May 5 voted in favor of two tax propositions--a one-half cent sales tax and a 15-mill property tax.
The two tax measures are expected to generate some $1.4 million per year in additional, local revenue. The increase in revenue provided on the local level also will generate some $800,000 per year in additional state funding.
Several times in past years, parish voters have rejected school taxes because they were not satisfied with what they saw when they looked at the state of affairs of our schools. They didn't care for the leadership of our schools as well.
Because voters approved tax initiatives on May 5, does that mean that the voters are now satisfied with the direction of our school system?
Just the opposite, in fact.
Parish residents are more dissatisfied than ever before.
It would appear, though, that a majority of parish residents are willing to trust the members of the current school board and the superintendent of the parish school system, Dr. Lanny Johnson.
It now appears as well that a majority of parish residents recognize our entire school system needs upgrading, and they showed in the recent election that they are willing to provide the money necessary to begin the job.
The money provided to the school system by the two 10-year taxes that were approved on May 5, while much-needed, will not be enough to transform our school system.
That will require more money. It also will require more than money.
The school system needs input and support from the people of the parish, from every area of the parish.
We have just one school system--the Franklin Parish school system.
Improving our parish schools should be a priority with every citizen of Franklin Parish.
The citizens of Franklin Parish have decided that they are willing to pay more for better schools.
Now, let us unify in support of the parish school system and show the schools we are willing to work harder.
Improving our schools is no easy task, but if we are willing to follow our increased funding with increased involvement and a demand for excellence, we will see improvement.
Our schools should be better, and they can be better.