School tour set Tuesday

Published 9:59 am Monday, April 4, 2016

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners will take a tour of Northampton County Schools on Tuesday.

Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter, superintendent of the county school system, will lead the commissioners on the tour of all public schools in the county starting at 9 a.m. April 5.

The tour has been planned for several weeks, but has been postponed because of schedule conflicts.

Woofter and the Board of Education want to show the county commissioners how efficiently the schools work and how much work is needed in some of the older schools, particularly at Willis Hare Elementary School and Northampton County High School.

This visit stems from the two boards trying to reach some consensus on the school district’s funding issues that have divided them.

In a joint meeting last year, the two boards agreed to have the tour. There was another item that surfaced during the joint meeting – placing a referendum on the ballot to ask county residents to increase their property tax rate with the funds earmarked to construct a new middle school / high school.

In order to pay for that project – estimated at over $30 million – the referendum called for increasing the tax rate by 9.92 cents (per $100 of valuation). The proposed supplemental school tax was soundly defeated during the March 15 primary as voters rejected it by a vote total of 4,724 (88.15 percent) compared to only 662 (11.85 percent) who favored the measure.