Will Audit of Montgomery Public Schools Stop Efforts to Bring Schools More Funding?
The Montgomery County school board has been hoping to get more funding through a property tax increase. However, an audit that uncovered more than $700,000 in misused and missing funds has at least one Montgomery County commissioner re-thinking what he thinks would be best for schools at this time.
The school board wants the Montgomery County Commission to pass a proclamation asking the Legislature for permission to seek a 12 mill property tax hike for schools. The county commission doesn’t have the authority to put the tax hike on the ballot without the Legislature’s okay.
But Montgomery County Commissioner Doug Singleton says he’s not in favor of that proclamation, at least not now.
“While I feel the need to help our public school system, the timing could not be worse,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “The city just approved the one percent occupational tax. The timing of the MPS audit was damaging to the already low level of confidence in our system,” he said.
“While I feel the current school board has made strides and [Montgomery School Supt.] Dr. Moore and the state intervention team has the system moving forward, this ask of our taxpayers is a little too soon. My fear is it will fail at the ballot box and leave us with very few options going forward.”
“Having a strong public education option for Montgomery County is critical. The consequences of a poor public education system is numerous. Reduced crime, workforce development, economic development even our relationship with Maxwell AFB is dependent on a quality education for all our children.”
“My vision is one day our Montgomery Public Schools will be performing in the top 10% in the state with funding to match this success. I don’t believe the time is right today to risk failing at the polls and setting our children back from future opportunities.”
“Let’s continue to show improvement on our grades, get out from under state intervention, allow Chief Financial Officer Arthur Watts (whom by the way is doing a fantastic job overseeing the money since arriving on the summer of 2018) to continue tightening the budgets, hire a highly respected leader to replace Dr. Moore when she decides to retire again next year and then go before the people for the much needed support,” he said.