Breakfast Recap: Lexington One Explains Proposed Referendum
It is no secret that Lexington is growing. Once a small, sleepy suburb of Columbia, Lexington now stands alone as a thriving community welcoming newcomers each and every day. In fact, over the past 30 years, Lexington County School District One has grown by more than 500 students per year. To put that in perspective, a small elementary school is about 615 students. The district is constantly recognized as one of the best in the state and is truly an asset to our community.
Dr. Greg Little, superintendent of Lexington County School District One, spoke at this month’s breakfast regarding the bond referendum that will be on the November ballot. The Chamber’s board of directors has decided to support the referendum and provided their position paper to the membership listing all of the factors leading to their decision. The most important factor is that Act 388, which passed in 2006, places an unfair burden on small businesses throughout the district. If the bond referendum passes, homeowners will finally be able to share in the burden of funding schools and hopefully alleviate some of the costs for businesses.
The proposed bond referendum would provide $365 million (down from $393 million) to build new schools and update existing ones, with safety and security being the district’s number one concern. The district’s website provides a breakdown of exactly where the $365 million would be spent and includes a link to the entire presentation that was shown at the breakfast meeting as well, which is a great resource for anyone with questions about the proposed referendum. Voters can also text ‘Lex1’ to 67076 for more information.
One of the major questions seems to be: what happens if the bond referendum doesn’t pass? The population will continue to rise and the schools will have to develop another way to accommodate additional students. Without the funds to build new schools, the district will be forced to add more portable classrooms, which are an eyesore and more importantly not as safe as brick and mortar locations. These portables would be funded by increased millage, which under Act 388 would fall on the business community here in Lexington.
The Chamber and its board of directors encourages everyone to vote in the election on November 6. For more information, about the bond referendum, please visit http://www.lexington1.net/about/building-plan. For more information about why the chamber’s board of directors has decided to support this referendum, please see our position document and contact President/CEO Otis Rawl with any questions.