Time to make tough decisions

Published 2:12 pm Monday, September 27, 2010

We applauded the leaders of Selma’s schools when they withdrew from their efforts to force fit a tax increase onto the November general election ballot and then a special election ballot in December.

Now, after that fiasco has nearly disappeared from the headlines, the same leaders have announced they would likely come back to city voters in 2012 to ask for more of a tax increase than they had planned this go around.

As we said during our compliment, before any tax increase should be suggested, school leadership and school board officials should and must take on an aggressive cost-cutting effort to prove the system is running as efficiently as possible.

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We understand the impact proration has had on the state of the school’s funding. There is no doubt that a $9 million loss over the past few years is a hard amount to be made up, but that is the challenge that comes with leadership positions.

We also agree with school leaders when they say a better funding mechanism must be found than the one tied to sales taxes and some property taxes.

But, in a tough economic environment, and in an area that is facing high unemployment, asking for more money from taxpayers is a tough thing to ask and an even tougher thing to get approved.

But, that process can begin today with the adoption of cost-cutting plan that can prove school leaders are serious about getting their house in order.

Everyone can agree that a well-funded education system is a must because the education of our children is an investment in our community’s future.

We, as a community and taxpayers, just want to make sure the money we give is spent wisely.