Up until now, the adults in charge of the Dougherty County School System might have argued that the numerous problems they have caused haven’t directly hurt the students. While we don’t think that’s true, it’s certainly not a claim they can make anymore.
Their latest foul-up could cost the system millions of dollars in federal money designed to help low-income students.
Last week, the state froze all Title One grant money, the latest in a long series of Dougherty County School System embarrassments. The state is investigating how the system is spending the grant money after some of it apparently was misspent.
The system like will have to repay more than 100-thousand dollars. Until the system provides paperwork to justify its spending and the state reviews it… all the money is on hold.
At least publicly, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from administrators and school board members to make sure the money is unfrozen. We can only hope they’re working behind the scenes to fix the problems and get the money back. Otherwise, the children will suffer, and that is something our community should not accept.
Sales Tax Holiday
Our state leaders in Atlanta are unenthusiastic about the prospect of a Sales Tax Holiday this year.
The general feeling seems to be that the state needs every penny of sales tax revenue it can get, and
we understand that.
We’ve had not one, but two such Sales Tax Holidays in past years, but leaders say the state can’t afford to do without the money, even though just a few items would be exempted from the tax.
We also think that if spending goes down, the need to wring every bit of money from consumers will decline, too.
Most of the states surrounding Georgia have kept their Sales Tax Holidays, and they need revenue, too. But they’ve decided that going without sales taxes on certain items for one day is something they can afford.
Retailers rightly see a one-day pass on sales taxes for some items as a way to get consumers to buy things they wouldn’t normally, buy, and it also helps sell some items the state does get its tax on.
We think that the state can find a way to keep at least one sales tax holiday in 2011, even if a second one might not be feasible.
We call upon our state legislators to put one Sales Tax Holiday back on the calendar this year, to help consumers, and retailers alike.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.