Ward addresses MES PTO meeting

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

State Sen. Cam Ward pictured with Montevallo Elementary School's PTO board, including (L-R) Michelle Campbell, Becky Wills, President Alton Doyle and Michele Gallagher. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)


MONTEVALLO – State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, visited Montevallo Elementary School’s first PTO meeting on Aug. 15 to answer questions about the state’s education budget.

“I want to talk to you about the education budget and how it impacts you directly,” Ward told the more than 20 meeting attendees. “A strong PTO makes lives of the teachers here at the school so, so much easier.”

“I don’t have rosy news when it comes to the education budget,” Ward said. “Eighty percent of all tax dollars goes to education, and the other 20 percent goes to everything else.

“The more Congress is trying to dig out of the debt they’re in, the more will shift onto us,” he said. “We can’t print more money like Washington can.”

When asked why other Shelby County municipalities are receiving new schools or school renovations, Ward said he’s had the same conversation with members of Shelby County High School and Vincent schools.

“I suspect it’s because of high growth areas like Calera and Helena,” Ward said. “Alabaster’s complaining because they’re not getting improvements. I wouldn’t want to be on the school board and making these decisions right now.”

Ward cited Montevallo’s slow growth in comparison to higher population areas of Shelby County as the reason for a delay in new school construction or current facility renovations.

“Will you get a brand new school at Montevallo?” Ward asked. “Probably not, because it doesn’t match the growth (of other Shelby County municipalities).

“Montevallo is a unique situation,” Ward said. “When a lot of people think of Shelby County, they think of Oak Mountain High School. We’re not the same rich community down here. We struggle like everyone else. It’s a stigma we face.”