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Is the School Board considering raising taxes?

Editor:
      Spring is here! Budding trees, flower blossoms, green grass, thoughts of romance…and property tax increases.
      After perusing the minutes of the Bulloch Board of Education meetings from January 14 until February 25 (the last date, as of this writing, that the meeting minutes are posted online) one can find scant mention of property taxes, or the budget, for that matter. There is a brief discussion in the January 28 minutes of the possible need to raise the tax millage rate, among other things. It’s as if any public discussion of property tax increases is off limits, due in part, I think, to the vehement taxpayer opposition it will likely incite.
      So if the Board is not discussing possible tax increases in public, are they discussing them in “Executive Session” or at some other time when they are away from public view? How would we know?
      Because of the way the Board of Education Budget is posted online, it is difficult for the average person to determine if a property tax increase is necessary. We are reduced to relying on politicians and education executives to inform us about these matters. It is similar to relying on the U.S. Congress to give us accurate facts and information about what they’re up to. We all know how well that works. 
      The Board has to rely on professional education executives for information and recommendations in operating the school system. The problem with this arrangement is that school administrators may be more concerned with retaining their particular program or position, not necessarily with the concerns of the taxpayers. 
      This is not about “the children”, as education executives are so fond of saying.  This is about Big Public Education. Big Public Education seems to be all about money and public perception. It constantly seeks market share (although it is nearly monopolistic), advertises its strong points, minimizes its weak points, is unconcerned about demonstrating a profit, is able to raise prices (taxes) almost at will, and gives the perception that it is unaccountable and inaccessible to the customers it serves.
      Many businesses, large and small, have had to take drastic actions in order to remain in business because of circumstances beyond their control. These companies cannot raise prices at will, but must work within the parameters of the current economic malady. If the Board of Education and Administration cannot work within these same parameters, then it may be necessary for a change in management.
      The Board of Education members are listed on the Bulloch County Schools website. If you’re not sure which member represents your district, call the Board of Education Central Office (an experience in itself) and ask for help in determining your representative. Then, give your representative a call or email them and ask how they would vote on the issue of raising the tax millage rate. You might be surprised at their reactions and responses.
Wayne Collingsworth
Statesboro

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