Cast your vote Tuesday to support our schools

By Heath Grimes, RCS superintendent

To our Russellville community:

The school spirit and renewed Golden Tiger Pride have been so evident in our town the past few months, and those of us here at Russellville City Schools have been so thankful for this support! Next week, our community will have another opportunity to show support for our schools and the programs we offer our students that better prepare them for the future.

On the Nov. 6 ballot, there will be an amendment asking voters to reaffirm the one-cent sales tax that our community has so graciously affirmed time after time for the past eight years – a tax that is vital to our operations and to continuing to provide an educational environment that strives for the excellence we’re known for.

This is not a new tax. It is the same exact tax that has been reaffirmed by our citizens five times now. The only difference is that this time, we’re asking the tax be affirmed for a longer period before it comes up for a vote again.

As it stands now, the one-cent tax needs to be reaffirmed by vote every two years. While the approval of this tax for any amount of time has been very much appreciated by both school systems in the city and county, the schools were still in a tough situation because the two-year timeframe limited what we could do with the funds.

At RCS, our four schools are at maximum capacity and have been for a few years now. We desperately need funding for capital projects that will allow us to expand and provide more adequate learning space for our students. But in order to do that and secure the bonds we need, we have to be able to show we have long-term financial sustainability.

The one-cent sales tax is absolutely vital to having that financial sustainability for these capital projects; we just need it to be in place for more than two years at a time for that to be possible.

We have requested this existing tax be renewed for a 30-year timeframe before it is voted on again. This will give us a guaranteed financial source that will allow us to secure bonds and continue to move forward with projects and programs that are steadily setting us apart in the educational community.

Our citizens here in Franklin County have always overwhelmingly supported this one-cent tax since it was first introduced. To me, this speaks volumes to the commitment this community has to its schools and to our future generations.

It tells me the people of our city and county know how important our schools are and care enough to support the schools through this one-cent tax. This kind of support is so necessary, and it amazes me that our people here see that and act on it.

It truly speaks volumes to where your priorities lie.

On Tuesday, I’m asking that you continue this pattern of support for our schools by affirming this existing one-cent tax once again and helping us continue to be a system our community can be proud of.