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We Can Afford Our Schools

By Terry Jonesschool merger logo

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Millington Mayor Terry Jones recently shared his outlook for why the city should vote YES on July 16 for its own school system.
To the great citizens of Millington, when it comes to the future of our children and community, we cannot guess or predict that something may happen without proof.
Recently some assumptions have been made and addressed around town as to the affordability of our schools. More than a year ago, the people of Millington and its elected officials felt it was important enough to have their own schools that they hired an outside firm to do a study. A firm that has experts in the field of education and its costs.
According to the study, the report says that we absolutely can afford our schools. The report stated that we may need a half cent sales tax increase to completely fund our schools. The citizens voted for this half cent sales tax and passed it last year.
These funds are currently being collected and accounted for in a separate fund specifically for the school system. This half cent sales tax is averaging well over the city’s required contribution to establish our own school system.
Millington’s strong retail base will remove any requirement to increase property taxes for the cost of educating our children. The rest of the funding will come from the federal, state and county governments.
If you look at any numbers based report and you look for negative you can find them. Likewise, if you look for positives, you will find the positives. The feasibility report was done by professionals who have shown us that we can afford our own schools. I will make available a copy of the study for anyone to review at City Hall.
The elected officials and citizens do not have a crystal ball and therefore, we do not know for sure about growth and increased revenue. Studies prove that good schools attract families to good communities.
Businesses follow good schools thus creating increased revenue. Property values increase with good schools and decline with bad schools. The success of any community is directly dependent upon the success of its schools.
There are 27 municipal school districts in the state of Tennessee. These school districts are the norm in most of our country. Out of the 27 districts in Tennessee, 41 percent are ranked in the top 5 percent in the state and I believe our children can rank that high as well. With a smaller streamlined school system ran by our citizens, our parents and our grandparents, we can do this. Our children deserve to have this chance. We cannot deny them this opportunity based on assumptions when a study of the facts has already been provided. Millington residents need to be in control of their tax dollars and decide how the tax dollar are spent.
We can afford our schools. But the bigger fact is we can’t afford not to have our schools. Please get out and vote YES. Let’s give our children an opportunity to have the best education possible.
Early Voting is July 8-11 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Baker Community Center at 7942 Church St. in Millington. Election Day is July 16.

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