Madison City Schools encourages residents to vote for 12-mill tax increase

MADISON, Ala. - Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker said enrollment numbers have grown tremendously this year.

Parker said while growth is a good thing, he doesn't want it to begin affecting the quality of education in the City of Madison.

That's why he's asking residents to vote in favor of a 12-mill property tax.

The Madison City School System is encouraging citizens to get out and vote during a special election scheduled for September 10.

The school system is asking for the hike to fund construction of multiple school buildings.

"The reason that we're asking for this 12-mill tax increase is because of the explosive growth we've had in the Madison City School System," said Parker.

He said the system has grown by nearly 600 kids this school year alone.

"It's unsustainable to us if we continue to grow at that rate," explained Parker. "We've grown every year since we became a district in 1998 but never have we grown as much as we've grown this year."

He said all eleven schools in the system are close to ninety percent capacity or more.

If enrollment increases by another six hundred students next school year,  the schools will be over 100 percent capacity.

Parker said the quality of education provided in Madison City Schools depends on the learning environments students are placed in. Overcrowded schools do not always foster educational growth.

The proposed increase would add $120 in property tax per $100,000 value of a home. 10-mill will go to the construction of two new schools.

"We need a new elementary school and a new middle school," added Parker. "We need to move into them no later than 22-23 school year."

Some of that money will also go toward expanding James Clemens and Bob Jones, adding 500 seats to each high school. An additional mill will go towards innovative programs for students in the system. The last mill will be allocated to safety and security measures at the schools.

"We've got to be able to finance SRO's in every school and having security guards on every campus," explained Parker. "And all of the other things we're doing to try and make our schools as safe as they can be."

Parker said if the increase passes on September 10, construction plans will be in motion September 11.

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