We are encouraged by the steps taken by new Superintendent Pat Cooper in Lafayette Parish schools. It’s vital that voters continue to support public education by renewing a major tax for school operations on Nov. 6.
A 10-year property tax millage accounts for about 11 percent of the system’s general fund budget. The 16.7-mill tax generates about $27.5 million annually and the funding supports salaries and benefits for teachers, librarians, other school personnel, technology and day-to-day operational costs.
The tax was first approved in 1985 and is not set to expire until the end of 2014. For budget planning purposes, it was placed on the fall ballot, Cooper said.
We encourage Lafayette voters to approve this renewal. We feel there is positive momentum in Lafayette schools. Four other local tax renewals fund police and firefighter salaries, and provide support for libraries and the Lafayette Regional Airport.
While those are not as high-profile as the school levy, we urge voters to consider not only the costs of the taxes but the real benefits that they fund for the community.