Hinds County voters consider school bond issue Tuesday

Hinds County, Miss. (WJTV) — The Hinds County School bond issue would provide additional funds for schools in Byram, Raymond, Terry and Utica. As you might imagine, the district has a list of things that could be done with $59.9 million. But the money only comes through if Hinds County voters approve a bond issue on Tuesday.

Earl Burke, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services and Operation, says some areas are growing faster than others, “The Byram-Terry area is a fast growing area, part of our school district.”

When Terry High School was built, it was meant to only be an elementary and middle school. Dr. William Sellers used to be the Principal at Terry. He says it’s now the 18th largest high school in the state. He also says the construction projects and iniatives in teh proposed bond would not increase property taxes used for schools. That’s because a 2003 bond issue was approved by Hinds County voters. The district is paying off those bonds this year so if voters approved a new bond issue this year, they wouldn’t see a tax increase.

Dr. Sellers says taxpayers would continue paying the same amount they approved in 2003, “However, if we miss this opportunity, if we ever want to raise money to improve our schools, it will involve a tax increase.”

If the bond passes, the money would pay for new technology, athletic fields, gymnasiums, and performing arts facilities. There’d also be security improvements. John Neal, Assistant Superintendent for Community Relations, says Utica schools could use attention in that area, “Another access to that campus to enhance our safety which we have looked at through our exercises that we’ve done at Utica.”Representati

Representative Jarvis Dortch and Senator David Blount issued a joint statement saying they support the bond issue and hope voters do too. The statement reads in part, ”As legislators representing the Hinds County School District, we will always stand up to support our public schools. We work so the state of Mississippi does right by our schools.  Our children depend on local support too.”

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