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Franklin County School Bond Could Face Uphill Battle

Posted February 15, 2008

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— Ten of Franklin County's 13 public schools are either at or above capacity, and school leaders say more expansions are needed.

That's why they are asking voters to approve a $53 million school bond to help with construction. If it's passed, $41 million of the $53 million will go toward building a new high school in Franklinton.

Franklin County Schools has spent $12,000 on a media campaign about the bond. For the next few months, school officials will continue a sales pitch to sway voters.

"If it doesn't work, we're in trouble here," said Paige Sayles, chairwoman for the Franklin County Board of Education.

The last bond vote failed in 2006, and there is strong opposition to this year's.

"You have people that agree that we need more classroom space but feel that the money isn't being spent wisely," said Franklin County Commissioner Bob Winters.

"The school bond that they're asking for is simply a waste of money, at this time," said Danny Pearce, vice chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.

There also are tax worries, Pearce said, with a tax rate a nickel per $100 of property value. For example, taxes would go up $50 on a $100,000 home.

"The property taxes go up – it's going to cut the builders," Pearce said. "It's going to cut everything."


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