POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - School officials and parents in Pointe Coupee Parish say they are concerned a vote against an 11.96 millage property tax could have major repercussions for students and teachers.
“It’s going to cause some issues,” said Michelle Chutz, a concerned parent.
The longstanding tax is renewed every ten years and contributes more than $5 million to the school system’s budget. The superintendent says failure to renew it will likely result in school closures and teacher cuts.
"We have so few schools in Pointe Coupee Parish, we definitely want to hold on to what we got,” said Linda Trubon, another concerned parent.
“My two daughters just switched to this school and they really like it and so do I, so I would be pretty upset if that happened,” said Jill Beauvais, another parent.
The superintendent says there have not been any efforts to strike down renewing the tax, however, she just want’s folks to be aware when heading to the polls.
"It’s very important for citizens to recognize how this would impact our school system. I’ve been out around the parish trying to explain to citizens it is just a renewal, it is not new tax,” said Superintendent Kim Canezaro.
Canezaro says classroom sizes could increase and there would be fewer one-on-one instructions if the millage does not get renewed. Parents say they’re hopeful voters will be aware of the tax renewal before heading to the polls.
"Parents just really need to look into the tax renewal and definitely be on top of it and not just brush it under the rug. It’s our kids, it’s their future, so it’s pretty important,” said Courtney Canezaro, another parent.
The tax rate will default to a 4.5 millage rate if it fails to pass on Nov. 16. Officials will have the option to add the renewal to 2020’s election ballot if it does not pass during this election cycle, but that could cost the district more than $20,000 since it would not be a statewide election.