School projects need diverse funding

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 30, 2003

With $150 million in capital improvements needed for Shelby County Schools, administrators must seek a diverse approach to funding.

With 1,000 new students added to the school system each year, Shelby County has an immediate need for extra dollars for new equipment and buildings. This immediate demand requires a quick funding source, which usually means property taxes.

On Jan. 13, voters will determine whether Shelby County Schools will see its building needs met over the next five years. Regardless of what decision voters reach on the tax referendum, we hope school leaders, government officials and politicians will use all of their resources to come up with better funding options in the future.

Impact fees could contribute valuable dollars to the capital needs of Shelby County Schools. As Shelby County Schools Superintendent Evan Major said, the school district has endorsed the idea of imposing fees on developers.

But, Major pointed out that impact fees would not generate $150 million, and it would not generate money immediately