BamaJam Brings Cash to Strapped School Districts

A three-day country music extravaganza last month promised to bring necessary tax monies to a cash-strapped school district.

In July 2007, the Elba City School District paid $2.27 a gallon for diesel fuel. This July, that expense has nearly doubled to $4.23.

Elba is the second smallest district statewide and Superintendent Danny Weeks says dollars are tight. The district is earmarked to receive 9.8 percent of the 340,000 sales tax dollars generated from June’s three-day BamaJam Festival.

"We certainly are in dire need of help with utilities, food costs, things like that. In other words, the same situation that normal household goes through on a normal basis," said Superintendent Weeks.

Due to the skyrocketing price of fuel, the state has earmarked $5 million dollars to be disbursed to all 120-school districts.

However, the money is geared for picking-up and dropping-off students. Extracurricular activities like sports are looking to find monies in tight-budgets.

School Transportation Supervisor Wesley DeVane says, "They have fundraisers at the concession stands in an effort to generate revenue to cover the fuel costs for the ball teams, monies that used to go into buying equipment and such."

The state is mainly concerned with getting kids back and forth to school, not sports and extracurricular activities.

"We hope with athletic teams to get monies to help us out," said Weeks.

Besides Elba City, the school districts of Coffee County and Enterprise will also get some much needed local tax revenues from the BamaJam event.


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