November 1, 2011
To: The Douglas County Board of Education
The Douglas County Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support the Education SPLOST on next week’s ballot for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, the Chamber is a business organization whose mission is to support, promote and attract business for the good of our community. The Douglas County School System has proven to be a School System and Board who understand that great education = good economic development and quality of life for local citizens. In today’s economy, education is not just another community function…it is the key to how businesses and our local economy will grow.
Part of supporting our local businesses is being a partner in a well-educated workforce. Through our work together on the Georgia Work Ready program, our graduation rates continue to rise each year and our students now compete nationally, not just in Georgia. Additionally, our College and Career Institute, a partnership of the Chamber, West Georgia Technical College and the School System, allows direct response to business education needs.
Second, the Education SPLOST is very transparent…you, as the Board of Education, are accountable to voters to spend the dollars on capital improvements approved by the voters…and on nothing else.
We are confident that the Board understands the complexities of today’s economy because you have managed successfully through significant state and federal budget changes, budget cuts, even while those same state and federal governments have increased their mandates to you. Like others of us in business, you know what it means to shrink expenses…yet you have done all that while protecting classroom teachers, while protecting a traditional school year, while protecting vital programs. We are grateful since we know that other School Systems and other School Boards, haven’t protected those teachers, haven’t protected that traditional School Year, and haven’t protected those programs. Congratulations. You have made the largest employer in our community, the School System, continue its operation without the gigantic disruption experienced in other communities.
Finally, the Education SPLOST is a sales tax that already exists, so you don’t have to raise taxes to keep it in place. We are delighted that your foresight has yielded an Education SPLOST that draws dollars from those who visit Douglas County to shop and to enjoy the advantages our community has to offer. Many outside this community have helped us to build and improve schools over the years of our existing SPLOST, and for that we are grateful.
The Douglas County Chamber is proud to endorse the continuation of the Education SPLOST and we encourage our members to VOTE YES!
Stephen M. Morgan
Chairman of the Board