Durant School Board President Dan England issued a statement thanking voters for approval of recent bond issues, and urged school and civic leaders to find ways to support the growth of the local tax base.
England read the prepared statement at the end of the regular school board meeting held Monday.
“’Thank you!’ to the voters in the Durant school district for passing the bond issues in the recent election. These funds will enable us to provide the facilities and equipment needed by our students in the next few years,” England said. “The administration has done an excellent job of making the most of the funds entrusted to us … As school board members and administrators, we all need to constantly think about and plan for the future needs of the school district.”
England encouraged board members and school administrators to be “thinking far into the future, even beyond our time of service” to secure adequate funding for school improvements “without placing any undue burdens on the generous voters of the Durant school district.”
He suggested developing “policies, rules and procedures that incentivize families to live in the school district.” This could encourage home builders to build new homes and refurbish older homes inside the district, which would have a domino effect in attracting new businesses.
“The resulting economic activity will improve the economy of Durant, and such transactions will grow the ad valorem tax base,” England said. “The end result will be growing funding for the facilities and equipment needed by the district … It is easy to see that growing the ad valorem tax base will produce more revenue even when we just hold tax rates steady.”
Board member Nate Morrison urged school leaders to “learn more and get some discussions going” about a tax increment finance district in Bryan County which is set to expire soon. “It’s a possibility those taxes could be going back to the schools.”
The rest of the board meeting agenda was routine, however the board members were treated to a brief demonstration from some members of the Durant High School debate team.
Some members of the debate team, led by Peggy Worden, recently participated in the Harvard Invitational Debate Tournament. President of the debate team is Brittany Trent.