Battle Over One Cent Sales Tax - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Battle Over One Cent Sales Tax

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New plans are on the table to improve North Scott schools. The district plans to expand three of its elementary schools in Long Grove, Eldridge and Donahue, as well as make improvements to the high school, all totaling $15M dollars. 

"We're trying to look down the road about ten years and to be able to tell the people you can count on us having quality space for quality teachers so kids can get what they deserve," School Board Vice President Dennis Albertson says. 

But signs that say, 'Vote No On September 11th' are lining the streets in Eldridge. Some against the sales tax extension want the money to be used for a new elementary school in Eldridge, not just an expansion. They want to make room for the kids currently bussed out of town to outlying schools in the district.

"I just don't see any way possible we can build a new school and maintain the five we already have," Albertson says. 

That plan was voted down last year. Albertson says the district didn't have enough money to pay for operating costs and hiring teachers for a new school, so an existing one would've had to close. 

"Since we're so far apart, it isn't as though we shut down a school in one neighborhood where someone can move a couple of blocks to another one, we're talking 15-20 miles," he says.  

So for now they're going forward with this plan to accommodate all their students as best as possible. 

"It has been the shift of population that has created a bit of problem, but one that I think this particular program addresses very nicely," Albertson says, "Maybe some day in the future we're going to have to re-examine the exact location of our buildings."

The issue will come to a public vote next Tuesday. The school board tells us if it doesn't pass, they will look into using their reserves, borrowing money, and using funds from the current sales tax in place to complete at least some of the new plan.