It’s officially crunch time for the Huntsville School District. Voters will decide the future of the district (and arguably the county as a whole) in less than a month when they cast their votes for or against the district’s request for a 3.9-mill increase, and every day between now and May 21 is a day the district and its board should be using to convince their constituents that we need the proposed activity center and the two CTE facilities.
The district has gone far above what it did last time in its approach for a millage increase. In 2016, a request to raise the millage rate to 35 mills (from the current 32.1) was shot down by voters amid concerns that plans lacked both clarity and communication from the beginning. While some plans are still unclear – which courses will be offered at the CTE facilities is still up in the air, Superintendent Tammi Davis said, adding that students will be surveyed once more about their wishes should the measure pass – the district is doing more to reach out to potential voters. Administrators hosted a community meeting Tuesday in Marble, which was only the latest in similar meetings that have been hosted the last few weeks.
That was a big request from voters in the school district. Now, though, it’s time for those voters to show up to those meetings. The ones I’ve attended have been sparsely attended. If people want to see the best out of the school district and want to ensure that our elected board members are being good stewards of our hard-earned tax dollars, we need to start filling the seats at those community meetings.
And then, whether you plan to vote yes or no next month, it’s important to get to your precinct and vote (or, if you’re like me, get to the courthouse and vote early). This millage increase is unique in that it’ll be featured alone on the ballot, meaning anyone who heads to the polls will be going specifically to vote on it (and not, say, who’s going to represent their party in the presidential election). An informed electorate is the most efficient one, so it’s best that as many people head to the polls with as much information behind their belt as possible.
We also recognize that a lot of people can’t make the meetings, and that there are still a few unanswered questions that we hope to find the answers to in the next few weeks. We’re going to look at CTE facilities in other districts and if they’ve been successful, and how the construction of an activity center has affected other areas. This week, we have a breakdown on Page 1A regarding the financial ins-and-outs: what it means that the millage will be used to pay toward a 30-year bond, and what the funds will and won’t go toward. If we’re missing anything, let us know and we’re happy to ask. And if you have an opinion – whether you’re for it or against it – feel free to send me a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.