Topeka The Lawrence school board's president today urged a Senate committee to give Douglas County voters the option of increasing their taxes to improve public education.
Austin Turney, the school board president, asked the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee to endorse Senate Bill 313, which would authorize a vote on a half-cent increase in the county's sales tax. The proposed tax hike would generate an estimated $5.8 million annually for eight districts serving children living in Douglas County. The Lawrence district would receive $4.4 million a year.
Turney said the sales tax plan would be placed on a ballot in Douglas County only if the 2004 Legislature failed to significantly increase state spending on schools.
"If that work fails to produce the funding needed to maintain educational excellence, we respectfully request that you provide us with another option, an opportunity for our local citizens to preserve their public schools," Turney said.
The committee took no action on the bill.
For more on this story, see Friday's Journal-World.