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Schools are a top priority

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors recently held a public hearing concerning the proposed 2018-19 consolidated budget, inclusive of the school budget.

During this time, no members of the community were present to offer comment regarding the budget.

While there have been no tax increases slated for the upcoming year at this time, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Gary Walker said “at some point, there’s going to have be a tax increase. Any more money we spend we will have to balance the budget.”

The supervisors recently met with the Charlotte County School Board to discuss options regarding the needs of elementary schools in the county.

During that time, the concern for taxpayer dollars was also mentioned. “If we have to raise taxes, we have to raise taxes,” said Wylliesburg/Red Oak Supervisor Kay Pierantoni. She said she wanted to meet the needs of the school board regarding the conditions of the elementary schools and proper justification would be needed to raise taxes if necessary.

We agree that while it may come at a cost to the taxpayers of Charlotte County, ensuring that all children in the county receive a fair education in a safe environment is necessary.

Failure to do so may result in a temporary cost savings, but the long-term disadvantages could reflect poor integrity surrounding the county’s school systems and decreased motivation from students and teachers.

Furthermore, as the prevalence of school related disasters continue to be reflected in the media, the county should take measures to ensure all safety precautions are in place in the event of a local catastrophe.

Charlotte County has always been proud of their school system, from the outstanding teachers/staff to the athletic and academic achievements of the students.

Maybe it’s time the county had facilities to reflect the integrity of those who comprise what is known as Charlotte County Public Schools.

In the long run, if an increase in taxes is necessary, the pros could outweigh the cons by protecting our students and sending a positive message of appreciation and validation to those who work, play and live in the county.