Proposed Education Spending

Dothan education officials told the Houston County Commission how they would spend revenue from a proposed school tax increase.

There is no guarantee voters will approve the tax increase. In fact, voters can vote on the property tax and on the sales tax increase.

Even with the additional money, this year school officials could just be breaking even.

Dothan School Superintendent Leon Hobbs said education officials are just trying to maintain the status quo after years of proration. Hobbs said an estimated $2.3 million from a five mil property tax increase would be used to improve reading skills and restore art and music classes in elementary schools, along with other programs.

A proposed half-cent sales tax increase would generate about $3.4 million annually. If voters go that route, Hobbs said the extra $1 million a year would be used for additional programs such as a grant writer, middle school business teachers and alternative education.

Hobbs said the Dothan School Board held a special workshop to determine how the money should be spent.

Hobbs said proration this year could reach as high as seven percent. If that happens, he said Dothan City Schools will lose another $3 million. So even if the tax hike is approved, this year's schools in Dothan could be lucky to break even.

Houston County Superintendent Kenneth Lord will present his school system's spending plan to county commissioners at their Jan. 27 meeting.

Houston County residents will vote on the proposed tax on Feb. 4.