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Shelby County School officials don’t want Chelsea School officials to form their own district

Rezoning plan for Shelby Co. schools
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 8:48 PM CDT|Updated: May. 7, 2022 at 1:48 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Brooks, said he does not want the city of Chelsea to break away and form their own school district.

Brooks said he supports the alternative option presented by two Chelsea City Council members that would provide financial support for Chelsea-area schools, but keep the schools in the Shelby County district.

Chelsea residents will vote on July 12 if they want the district to break away, and if that vote passes, they would be agreeing to a 12.5-mill property tax increase to fund the move. Right now, they don’t pay any city property tax.

Chelsea City Council members, Cody Sumners and Casey Morris, brought forth an alternative plan that does not increase taxes or separate the districts, but instead uses funds from the current one-cent education sales tax to better the schools. Shelby County School officials told WBRC they think the district is doing a good job with Chelsea schools and does not want to see them separate. Brooks said he supports the alternative plan and he does not want to lose the 3,500 students.

But, Sumners said that alternative plan won’t happen unless residents vote no to raising taxes.

“The only way it will come into play is if this other measure fails the vote of the people on July 12,” Sumners said. “Then, we could go back to the drawing board and visit the option presented by myself and councilman Morris. I think we all agree that the facilities need to be addressed. The proposal by myself and councilman Morris could actually address those facility issues in a more timely mannerr, I mean as early as tomorrow, but what is presented to the citizens will not be able to address facility issues for five to six years. There is no reason to raise a property tax when we have a viable option that will provide immediate relief to the facilities without increasing property taxes.”

Sumners said the 12.5-mill property tax would equate to about $125 on every $100,000 of your home’s value. He said if the increase passes after the vote on the 12th, they will start to form their own school system right away.

Sumners says the Chelsea City Council is working to announce dates for town hall meetings for residents before the July 12 vote.

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