Show me the money

Shelby County school officials took a step forward recently when they began considering a five-year facility plan.

They have asked for public input on the plan, especially since if implemented, the funds must come from somewhere.

The plan is expected to cost between $135 and $150 million to implement.

It will require additional capital improvement funds to the system of $13.5 million annually.

The question from board members &045; where will this money come from?

The answer &045; the Shelby County taxpayer.

The facts &045; growth continues in this county at an alarming rate. Student population in October 2002 was 21,800.

During the next five years, enrollment is expected to be at 27,000 to 28,000, requiring an additional 250 classrooms systemwide.

Without the funding to build new facilities and maintain the current facilities, that means 250 trailers systemwide.

And that is unacceptable.

The Shelby County taxpayer will be faced with difficult decisions in the coming years.

Let’s all keep in mind that without adequate educational facilities for our children, the county will not continue to prosper