Selma City Schools announced this week what we all knew was coming a loss of jobs because of the state funding crises.

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 11, 2003

The Selma City School system plans to layoff 100 people before the start of the next school year if something doesn’t change. The &uot;if&uot; and the opportunity to change this course exists in a May 19 special session of the legislature that has been called by governor Bob Riley.

It is here that lawmakers will review ways to &uot;make this work&uot; and avoid a further weakening of the Alabama educational system.

You have both Republicans and Democrats in this state saying increased taxes are coming. The question now is what taxes and how much?

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Riley says we can scrape up enough money, with smaller tax increases, to get through this funding crisis for another year. Or we can go all out, pass a major tax package, and truly upgrade this state and plan for its future.

On Wednesday, Sen. Hank Sanders said the same thing in his weekly column. Sanders made it clear he wants to take a chance on the bigger tax increase.

But do you?

Every Alabamian must reflect on where this state is right now and what we are going to do to fix it. This isn’t going to be easy. Many Americans are distrustful of government and sickened by its ability to waste our money.

We are this way because government has given us plenty of reasons to shake our heads when a new tax increase is requested.

The Riley administration has stepped forward and cut millions of dollars from the state budget. Riley did this for two reasons: First, it was the right thing to do and second, he felt he could not ask for new taxes without at first cutting expenses.

What the Selma schools announced Thursday means this state funding crises is real and it’s hitting home. The issue has moved from whether or not we need a tax increase to how much will it be.

And that is up to the people of Alabama.