They've gone to the voters four times already, twice with a 12.95 mil levy and twice with a one percent income tax.
And all four times, the voters turned them down.
"The voters politely told us that was not the way they wanted to
go," recalled Tony Scott, superintendent of Bellaire Schools. "We at
that point started making cuts. And we've made cuts and we've made cuts
and we've made cuts. And the point I keep explaining to folks is that we
can hardly make any more cuts at this point."
Now school officials say they need $961,200 every year for five years.
So they're putting an 8.72 mil levy on the November ballot.
They say for a person with a $100,000 home, that's $22 a month, or 75 cents a day.
For the same homeowner with a homestead exemption, it's $17 a month.
Superintendent Tony Scott repeatedly used the word "emergency."
He stopped short of saying that if the levy goes down, so will the school system.
So we asked him if this means the end of Bellaire Schools if the levy doesn't pass.
"To be perfectly honest, the state has never closed a district,
never forced a consolidation," says Scott. "But that does not mean that
it could not happen. I'm certainly not going to threaten or use scare
tactics. That's not my style. But I can tell you right now that if we
continue that path, we're going to have less of a school district
because we're going to have fewer programs to offer our students."
Scott says they will soon educate the public about the levy
because, four months from now, it will be in the hands of the voters.