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Opinion: Our children’s education deserves sales tax, bond funding
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Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield, left, and Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams speak Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at the Gainesville Rotary Club meeting on the proposed Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and bond referendums that could fund new schools in the county and city. - photo by Scott Rogers

As a parent of children in our local school systems, we have been incredibly blessed with wonderful educators who provide our children with an education that is second to none. 

However, it’s well past time for the facilities at our schools to be upgraded in order to match the quality education at both Gainesville City Schools and Hall County Schools. 

For example, the average age of Hall County’s elementary schools is 42 years old, which is well past their prime. 

Gainesville High School is also aging and in need of a major renovation as well as construction of a new Gainesville City middle school for the growing Mundy Mill area. 

These projects need to happen as soon as possible. That’s why it is critical that our community turn out for the referendum in support of the education sales tax (E-SPLOST VI) and general obligation bond (requiring two separate yes votes). 

The sales tax and school bond are the best funding strategies to fill the spending gap and meet the needs of children throughout our community. In addition, the one penny sales tax and issuance of school bonds allow new schools to be paid for by all citizens of Hall County and not just property owners. Not only that but visitors to our community will also help pay for these much needed school improvements. 

I encourage your readers and the citizens of Gainesville and Hall County to vote yes for E-SPLOST and its companion school bonds. With the recent pandemic in our country, Election Day has moved to June 9. 

In our house we are early voting, which resumes on May 18. Our children deserve it.

Kelly Lee

Chair, Citizens for Better Education 2020

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