George County school bond issue up for a vote - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

George County school bond issue up for a vote

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George County voters head to the polls Tuesday to vote on an $18 million school bond issue. George County voters head to the polls Tuesday to vote on an $18 million school bond issue.
GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

George County voters head to the polls Tuesday to vote on an $18 million school bond issue. If voters say yes, education in George County will take a major step forward.

"We want them to be able to walk out of high school with the skills that they need to be ready to go to work," said Sonia Hudson, Career Technical Director at George County High School. "We want to have them workforce ready when they leave high school, if that is their choice." 

All vo-tech would be brought under one roof, along with new classrooms and a performing arts center. Superintendent Debbie Harrell said the time is right.  

"We feel that the interest rates are very low at this time and construction [costs] are very low, so we think we are going to be able to maximize that $18 million," Harrell said. 

She also believes taxpayers are supportive.

"They want to make sure the students are offered the same opportunities as students from other schools within the state and across the nation." 

Her beliefs seem to ring true, according to some voters we talked to. One of them is Renay Anderson.  

"I think it's a good plan and I'm going to vote 'yes' because it will be good the students and education and everything," Anderson said. 

"I'm planning on voting 'yes,'" said Dee Turner.  "I think it's excellent for the kids, it's a great opportunity for growth in our community."

The vast majority of the $18 million bond issue will be spent at the high school, about $14 million of it. But the superintendent said all schools will be receiving upgrades, including schools like Lucedale Elementary.  

"We have some very old schools in our district and we want to make sure that we provide each of those schools with their needs, whether it is additional space, whether it's just remodeling updates or if it is just technology needs," Harrell said.

The bond issue requires 60 percent approval for passage. If that happens, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $60 more a year in taxes.  

Hancock County voters will also be voting on a school bond issue Tuesday. School leaders there say no tax increase is expected, if the $16 million is passed.

The polls are open in both counties from 7am until 7pm.

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