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Northport leaders get more information about forming school system

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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NORTHPORT, Ala. (WBRC) - Members of the Northport city council heard a second presentation Monday regarding what it would take to break away from Tuscaloosa County Schools and form its own school system.

During the presentation, city council members got more information about costs.

“The end result was that if Northport wanted to form its own school system, it could do so with funds that are available,” Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon explained.

Herndon said Northport’s city council was told it cost about $600,000 to cover the costs of getting its own school system off the ground before classes even started.

That would pay for the salaries of office personnel, administrators and legal filings.

“With what we’d be getting from the state, federal, and county governments, we could operate our own school system,” Herndon said.

Another $1.5 million would be needed for upgrades, maintenance, and salaries going into the first full year of school.

The person who presented the study told city leaders that the city’s school system budget would be around $54 million in the first year.

“If we want to be a top-notch school system, it’d be up to citizens to say we want better and they might say hey, we want to raise property taxes a little bit,” Herndon continued.

Herndon said property taxes might have to go up an additional $100 or more a year on homeowners to ensure enough money is generated to pay for everything they would need.

He felt giving Northport parents more control over their kids’ education would be worth it.

“I want us to be in charge of our own destiny, education, curriculum, school locations,” Mayor Herndon concluded.

He would like to have community meetings with groups like PTA’s within the next month or so to get the thoughts from more residents about Northport creating its own city school system.

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