Butler County School Officials React After Ad Valorem Tax Proposal Fails

In what had become an emotional debate, Butler County residents voted against the Ad Valorem tax proposal that would have raised their property taxes, while funding the Butler County School system.

Over 4500 votes were cast with 75% of residents voting against the proposals.

Butler County schools officials say they’re disheartened with the outcome.

“I had concerns going into that but I didn’t expect that,” Butler County Schools superintendent Dr. John Strycker says. “I expected that we would fair a little bit better.”

Now the board has to make decisions, including budget and staffing cuts.

Those could involve food service and transportation, among others.

“We are prepared to make the reductions that we need to, we’re not looking forward to it,” Strycker says.

Butler County Schools Federal Programs Director Lisa Adair says the school system will have to find other ways to fund students’ needs.

“We have the average needs of a school system,” Adair says. “We have curriculum resource needs, we have outreach program needs. Parents can’t afford extracurriculars, like art classes, like opportunities in robotics.”

Strycker says he will continue to seek advice from local residents on how to move the system forward.

“Certainly, we’re going to work with our community to receive input, feedback.”

The county ranks 132nd out of 137 counties statewide that benefits from local property tax support.

“The facts still remains we’re one of the lowest in the state and in the country with local property support for schools,” Strycker says. He also says school officials will begin to outline a process for budget cuts at the board of education’s February meeting.

Categories: News, South Alabama