Letter: E-SPLOST about schools, not administrators

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2016


Dear editor,

Troup County voters will soon be asked to decide whether to continue a one cent education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Although there are several items on the May 24 ballot, this E-SPLOST referendum is by far the most important.

Voters, please don’t let your emotions confuse you. This is not a referendum on the popularity of the superintendent or the school board members. This vote is strictly about the future of the children of Troup County and our future quality of life. With this one “YES” vote you can improve our community and enhance the educational future of thousands of public school children.

Many times in life we face chicken-or-egg issues where it is impossible to know what comes first and what follows. The E-SPLOST is not a chicken-or-egg issue. It’s pretty simple really.

First comes significant investment in public schooling, and only then is there the possibility of higher quality schools that turn out promising graduates who are sought after by industry. Communities that invest in their public school systems prosper and become desirable places to live.

The upcoming E-SPLOST referendum is about three things:

1. Do we believe that all children in Troup County deserve a quality education?

2. Do we want to raise the quality of life for all Troup residents, including ourselves?

3. Do we want to pay for accomplishing these goals in the smartest way possible?

The answer to all three of these questions can be answered through the E-SPLOST vote on May 24.

How does that work?

We have over 10,000 commuters who drive to Troup County for work every day. If they buy lunch while working here or top off their gas tanks and buy a Coca-Cola before heading home, those 10,000 commuters will pay a significant portion of our E-SPLOST bill. They will help assure better schools for our children and they will help fund a better quality of life for you and me.

Approving the E-SPLOST will allow the school system to replace a roof, build new classrooms and purchase new computers rather than use general fund monies for such purposes. Then, the general fund monies freed up by the E-SPLOST can be used to hire teachers and buy teaching supplies and materials.

It is just that simple. A vote for the E-SPLOST is a vote for the children and teachers of our county. A vote for the E-SPLOST allows people from other counties to help us pay for our schools. A vote for E-SPLOST is a vote for making Troup County a better place to live.

Join me in voting “YES” on May 24.

Roy D. Nichols Jr.