Monday, December 26, 2016

Education Committee Won't Get Additional Money This Year

Fairhope, Alabama

EAC's November meeting


Funding To Remain Flat

The city council voted unanimously to appropriate the usual $345K to the city's Educational Advisory Committee this year to be distributed among the five schools -- not the $620K they had requested to begin implementing a process recommended by an education consultant to begin upgrading the city's five feeder-pattern schools to be within the top ten in the state by the year 2020 (They are already within the top twenty).

The Akrobos Group's study (clk),  commissioned by the last city council (costing $49K) and completed last April, provided several options for the city council to consider -- among them forming a special tax district, an independent school system, or maintaining the status quo.

An additional $355K was originally requested this year by the committee last Summer, but that was reduced later to $275K  -- because of personnel additions by the Baldwin County School System.

School funding became an issue in the city's municipal election last August; the primary advocate for increasing funding, Diana Brewer, was not re-elected.


At a meeting in November, EAC members discussed the need for direction from the new mayor and city council on how they wanted to proceed (clk): councilman Burrell told the Times last week he had since explained the reduction to the committee's chairman and he was ok with it.

Burrell said the the upcoming penny tax renewal could prove problematic; he also red-flagged lost sales tax revenue from Internet sales, which must be addressed at the national level.

When asked about it several weeks ago, mayor Wilson speculated that "top five" may be a better long-term goal for the city but did not mention how that would be funded.

Also, some frustrated EAC members are complaining privately about a continuing lack of support/cooperation from the Baldwin County Board of Education.


Anonymous said...

I don't really understand what the reporter is stating here. It appears that the EAC requested twice as much funding as the City typically provides. We are already in the top 20; the additional funding not provided would have put us in the top 10, but Mayor Wilson stated that we should be happy in the top 5?
I think that the editor should clear up some of this, b/c it appears that the more money the city has gifted to Brewer, the worse our schools have become? Please, anyone, who understands this, please clarify to the city!

Publisher said...

The city council appropriated the usual yearly amount for the past five years: $345,000.

It would take about $620K/yr to enter the top ten by the year 2020, according to the Akrobos study.

Diana Brewer is no longer on the city council.

Anonymous said...

When the penny sales tax goes away and the one percent property tax expires they will be lucky to stay in the top twenty anyway!

Anonymous said...

Better to just take a match and burn it up rather than give more money to the sneaky school board members.

Anonymous said...

It takes a lot more than funding to create and maintain a good school system. Achieving a goal of reaching the top ten in the state of Alabama is not a lofty goal. State schools score way below the National average. It take commitment and caring and hard work from students, teachers, and parents. Perhaps school choice and vouchers will provide enough competition to propel Fairhope into excellence; perhaps not.

Anonymous said...

"Burrell said ..... "he also red-flagged lost sales tax revenue from Internet sales, which must be addressed at the national level."

This has already been addressed at the national level, and the county has a use tax, the city should have a use tax also. How this works, when someone orders something where tax is not collected it is up to the customer to submit the tax on the amount owed to the various cities, counties or state.

It is up to the state on how this is to enacted and Alabama is at the forefront of this, as is Baldwin County. Perhaps someone at the city should contact the county to ask how they are collecting this tax. I would think this would fall under the Finance Directors preview.

The city can audit businesses to view their credit card bills or other invoices.

Now, this also means that cities that order anything online where sales tax is not paid, then the city has to submit the tax to the state, and county.

Anonymous said...

We need to elect people who will follow state laws without exception.

Anonymous said...

Re-contract out with RDS. They are good at finding businesses not having license, not reporting sales tax, collecting sales tax, etc. Don't know why they dropped the contract they had with them. Maybe found someone out and stepped on someone's toes?

Anonymous said...

The proposed new millage earmarked for schools failed at the ballot and initially some of the renewal millage. However, I feel the response from the county was to purposefully hike the valuations on the land value of property. This was no coincidence. They could not get the increased funds through approved taxation from the voters so they did it through valuation which does not require voter approval.

Anonymous said...

There isn't enough money on earth to get these schools into the top 5 (or even 10) because there are too many children within the district with parents who don't take any personal responsibility for the education of their own kids. Thank heaven for Bayside Academy so that parents who do value education have an opportunity to provide that for their kids. For those who can't afford a quality private education, please vote for those that believe in charter schools.

Anonymous said...

just give some more to feef instead.