LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - There’s signs across Little Rock for and against the Little Rock School District wanting to extend their existing property tax millage.
Dr. Anika T. Whitfield said extending this tax does nothing valuable for the school system, saying the LRSD would only use the increase flow of money for a "facelift on a lot of the schools."
“What the schools really need is academic support and academic resources," Whitfield said. "They don't need their buildings to look beautiful, what they need are people that actually care about academic success.”
She said it's offensive that the residents of Little Rock are even considering voting to support the millage.
“Taxation without representation is absolutely against democracy, it's against the founding of our four fathers of this nation. I cannot believe that an elected governing body would suggest that the people should suggest something that is taxation without representation,” she said.
Superintendent Michael Poore disagrees with Whitfield, saying the millage won't increase tax rates in the city.
“I think there's a strong group of people that are very much in favor for it and there's also a pretty strong group that's against it," Poore said, "and there's a lot of people that are undecided right now that are trying to gather more information.”
He claimed the increased millage will impact learning environments in a positive way by providing fixes to the buildings.
“Every single campus will have something that happens but some need dramatic things like a new roof to stop leaks or a new air conditioning unit,” he said.
He said the district established this list of improvements back in 2014. He said the voters know that children in the LRSD and the staff need these repairs. Poore even addressed people who say they are voting against the measure until the district is back in local control.
“A lot of people think, 'Well, if we just waited until we got local control back,' but this is one of those things where we shouldn't wait to make life better for kids,” he claimed.
Poore said his number one goal is to get local control back.
Voting will take place Tuesday, May 9, but you can early vote starting on May 2.