TCS supports sales rax referendum education

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 02:12 PM

The Thomasville City Schools Board of Education is ready to offer the public information on the upcoming sales tax referendum.
Board of Education members on Tuesday unanimously voted to support educating the public on the quarter-cent sales tax slated to appear on the May 6 primary ballot. The resolution endorses educational information on the proposed referendum from Davidson County Strong for Education, a committee that feels the tax is the best way to fund a new high school.
“We can't advocate for anything on the ballot,” Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin said. “We certainly can educate folks. We passed a resolution in support of educating the public about this quarter-cent sales tax.”
Davidson County Commissioners created a committee to educate the public on the tax increase, which is intended to help build a new high school in the northern part of the county to alleviate overcrowding. Both North Davidson and Ledford high schools have far exceeded their designed enrollment numbers, leaving their campuses littered with dozens of trailers filled with students. One brochure developed by the committee depicts students sitting in the hallway during a class.
“We're dealing with significant urban sprawl from High Point and Winston,” Dr. Fred Mock, a committee member and recently retired Davidson County Schools superintendent, told the Times last month. “It's not going to stop.”
According to the Davidson County Finance Department, the quarter-cent sales tax increase could generate more than $2 million a year and avoid a property tax increase that would force property owners to pay hundreds of dollars annually.
Pitre-Martin said TCS' support of the resolution is for education as a whole. If passed, the additional revenue could one day make its way into Thomasville.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure we support the education of all of our community,” said Pitre-Martin. “It's certainly not specific to Thomasville City Schools but we know that in supporting all of education, we all win. Those things will help all of our students. We know the first round of funds will be going to the Davidson County Schools system. Later down the line, there is the hope that some of that funding will come to Thomasville and Lexington City Schools.”
TCS plans to send educational material on the May 6 referendum home with students and officials are prepared to field any questions about the tax.
“A committee appointed by the commissioners has designed and funded the dissemination of information explaining the sales tax, the May 6 referendum allowing the public to vote on such tax and the education of facility needs which could be alleviated through funding generated by such a tax,” said Pitre-Martin. “TCS Board of Education does hereby support Davidson County Strong for Education to educate the public on the proposed sales tax.”
Construction costs of a new high school in northern Davidson County are estimated at approximately $40 million.
Early voting at the Thomasville Public Library runs from April 24 to May 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.