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Tax must pass

The campaign to renew the ad valorem school tax is gaining steam. A number of citizens attended a "town hall" meeting in Georgiana Monday night to discuss the critically important issue.

This tax must be passed.

Why? Public schools are at the heart of an area's infrastructure. Without a public school system, our county would quickly become a place much different than what we know.

Property values would drop.

Unemployment could double, or even triple, as businesses left for a place that supported education.

Eventually, the population would decline.

Of course, the state might come in and take over our schools, but that would not be an attractive option either. Who wants to send their child to the only school system in the state that has to be operated by the state?

Nobody.

And the reality is that most folks can't afford private school tuition. Butler County Superintendent of Schools Mike Reed said Monday he has been told by a high-ranking state official that our schools would close if the local funding is not available.

The current tax is approved through October 2002. After that, the tax has to be re-approved for our schools to stay open.

Of course, everyone isn't getting direct benefits from the public schools, but every county citizen benefits indirectly in one form or fashion.

Members of the school board were forthright, and even apologetic, Monday night. Some said they used a no' vote in November to send a message to the school board.

Take that message to Thursday's town hall meeting at the Board of Education, and get an answer. Punishing innocent children to send a political message can be avoided. Politics aside, there is not one good reason to vote against this tax. And politics is not a good reason.

The election is not until May 1, but the time to get moving is now.

Tell your friends.

Tell your neighbors.

Tell everyone you see.

Vote yes for the children nn and the citizens nn of Butler County.