Community must ‘expect some results’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 8, 2001

As a taxpayer of this community, we have to expect some results.&uot; That comment was offered by Dr. J.R. Todd at this week’s public hearing to review a proposed tax increase for the Natchez-Adams School District.

It’s right on the money, if you’ll pardon the pun.

But we wonder how many community residents share that sentiment.

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Surely not many, judging by the meager turnout for the school board’s budget hearing. Only eight residents attended Thursday’s meeting, even though the tax increase will be paid by every property owner in Adams County.

With a $38 million budget, and some 5,000 students in its charge, the school district is as much an economic force as any small industry. More than a quarter of that budget comes directly from local tax revenues; state and federal taxes eventually find their way into other parts of the budget.

Because we are funding this business, we have a right to demand profits and success – in this case measured by students’ performance, employability, aptitude and ability to contribute to society. We have a right – even a responsibility – to expect nothing less than excellence for our children as a return on our investment.

And we have to communicate that expectation to the school district leaders who will be held accountable for reaching that goal.

That means we must get involved – emotionally, intellectually, even financially – with our school district. We must ask questions. We must take an interest in its future. We must see its opportunities and its challenges.

And, most important, we have to expect some results.