I voted Yes for ESPLOST in Coffee County. I believe that the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax makes sense. This is not an additional tax; it is simply a vote to continue the current ESPLOST in Coffee County. As a parent, I want my children to have the tools necessary to receive a quality education and ESPLOST ensures that.
I know that the Coffee County School System relies on ESPLOST funding to buy school buses. The school system has 85 buses in the bus fleet and needs to buy at least five or six buses per year to keep the fleet in operation. The school system receives funding from the state to buy approximately one bus per year. The Coffee County Schools need ESPLOST funding to keep the bus fleet on the roads to safely transport the 5,000 students a day who ride the bus.
I know the Coffee County School System relies on ESPLOST to buy textbooks, computers and technology. Students attending school today need access to modern classrooms which include computers and other technology. The State of Georgia funding formula was developed in 1985 and has changed very little since that time. Therefore, our school system needs ESPLOST to provide the resources necessary to educate children in the 21st Century.
I know Coffee County is a big county and we have many facilities that must be maintained. Heating and air units and other equipment and facilities do not last forever. Facilities must be maintained and the Coffee County Schools need ESPLOST funding to maintain and improve buildings when necessary. I want our children to attend schools that are modern and comparable to schools in other counties.
I know that we all want our children to be safe. The Coffee County School System will spend ESPLOST funding to install safety and security upgrades throughout the system. My yes vote for ESPLOST was a vote for safety and security upgrades in our schools and on our buses. My yes vote was also a vote to build a facility for our NJROTC program at Coffee High School. I know the school system has improved facilities in the past for the arts, agriculture and athletics, and a yes vote on the current ESPLOST will ensure facilities for our NJROTC students as well.
Everyone agrees that ESPLOST is fair, and I know that my YES vote for ESPLOST was a vote for a better Coffee County. I just wanted to share why as a parent, a Coffee County resident, and a graduate of the Coffee County Schools, I voted yes for ESPLOST.