What’s next for Athens City Schools after citizens vote down property tax increase

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ATHENS, Ala. - The school system asked for higher taxes to help fund a $75 million project that would include two new schools and renovations on the others. But the voters came out to the polls on Tuesday and decided a higher tax was not how they wanted to pay for it.

"We are disappointed, but our teachers are doing what they do best; they are in the classrooms with students and will continue to do that," said Chris Hamilton, Athens City Schools.

Even without the money, Hamilton says it doesn't change the fact the schools are still in need of repair." We have buildings that are in bad shape and are going to have to have attention," said Hamilton.

But it does change how they will go about it and whether or not a new school will be built. "It's still our goal to do that. Whether or not we can make it happen, I don't know if we know the answer to that, yet," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says they're only given a small amount of capital funds every year from the state. "That is not enough. That is just for maintenance. That is not enough to build a school," said Hamilton.

And she says changes will have to take place. "Right now the primary options we have are reallocations of resources and making some difficult decisions," said Hamilton.

Like the possibility of cutting after school programs.  She says at this point nothing is exempt from the chopping block. "We just have one pot of money and we're going to have to decide how to go about reallocating that if we decide to proceed and build a new school and renovate other schools," said Hamilton.