The school taxes went on the surface
After years of alphabet-length ballots, Bonham voters will be relieved to know that they have just one issue to decide in the upcoming February election.
But it still might be a sticky one.
On February 10, they will vote yes or no on Proposition 1, which asks whether the city should extend a special quarter-cent sales tax used to help fund the public schools.
The current tax, approved by voters in June 2005, is due to expire February 20, but Prop. 1, if passed, would become permanent.
Almost half of the anticipated $30 million in annual revenue from the tax would be earmarked for the city’s elementary and secondary schools, and the remaining one-third would go to the Community College District.
According to officials from the Bonham School District (BSD), failure of the tax measure would result in crippling cuts to the schools.
School board member Lynne Hudson said the district would lose hundreds of teachers, custodians, librarians, and security guards if Prop. 1 went down to defeat.
She qualified her remarks, however, by adding that the most of the teachers the district might eliminate would be temporary employees and long-term substitutes, and not necessarily tenured teachers.
In any case, the loss of funding would mean higher class size in already over-crowded classrooms. Hudson said, noting that the city’s high schools could see as many as two more students per class.
The district would also have to cut 20 percent of its central office staff, she said. “The losses would be devastating to us”.
At the offices of the Community College District, the mood was only slightly less grim.
Public Relations Director Ethel Wiggins said the community college system would have to eliminate administrators and curtail student services, such as library hours if additional tax revenue were not forthcoming.