Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) - Voters in Kershaw County will decide on November 8 if they want a penny sales tax to pay for school improvements across the district.
“When you got leaking roofs, you've got HVAC units that don't work like they're supposed to. The kids aren't comfortable, if they're not comfortable and they're sick, they're not learning like they're supposed to,” Executive Director of Operations for the Kershaw County School District Billy Smith explained.
Smith says the school is desperate for upgrades because many of the schools are old and too small.
“When you’re repairing 60 year old things, they cost more and every year it costs more and more,” Smith said.
There are two questions on the ballot. One asks if voters want to support a referendum taking on 17 different school improvement projects. The second asks if voters want to put in place a penny sales tax.
“I am in favor of voting Yes Yes twice and taking some of the burden of the cost off of our property owners here in Kershaw County,” Kershaw County parent and Committee Chair for Taxpayers for Education Plus Jobs Chuck Nash said.
Nash is in support of a referendum that would put in a place a penny sales tax for 15 years to pay up to $129 million dollars’ worth of school improvements.
The list includes new facilities for Applied Technology Education Campus, Camden Elementary School, Lugoff Elementary School and Wateree Elementary School. Improvements and renovations at many of the high schools and middle schools are also on the list.
Lori Thompson is against the referendum because she says she does not believe the money will be used appropriately.
“I voted no no this time because I'm not going to give nobody a chance to not use it for what it's not supposed to be used for,” Thompson said.
However Nash says if the referendum is voted down, the need for improvements will still be there.
“I want my children to be in a place where they can have great facilities, they can have great teachers and they can learn in a great environment,” Nash said.
A similar referendum failed back in 2014.
For more information on the projects and a breakdown of costs, please visit: http://www.kcsdschools.net/referendum