FCPS board votes on tax hike to fund school safety


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Wednesday night, the Fayette County School Board is meeting to vote on a tax hike that would fund a school safety plan.

The 13.5 million dollar plan would pay for one year of more police officers, additional mental health professionals, and new metal detectors.

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The average family would pay $88 more in taxes. Many families told ABC 36 $88 is equivalent to losing two dinners out. They say it’s not a big sacrifice; it’s something several people say they agree with. They just wish they got a vote.

Before we know it summer’s freedom will pour into fall’s organization.

“Yeah, I just got an email the other day that said four weeks left until school and i was like, ‘Oh my gosh!'” parent and teacher Meghan Traynor said.

“Once it hits July 4th, it’s gone,” Grandmother Laura Howe said.

Howe is thinking about the start of school even as her granddaughters play at the splash pad or around it.

“She has discovered the mud puddles, though, and they’re almost just more fun than the rest of it,” Howe said.

The School Board is thinking about September too.

Wednesday night, they’ll vote on whether to hike your property taxes five cents per hundred dollars of property to fund a school safety plan.

The 10-point plan would expand mental health services, add more officers, and implement metal detectors in every middle and high school. Superintendent Manny Caulk introduced it earlier this month.

“No child should go to school in fear. No educator should have to use their bodies to shield students in their classes from harm and every family should welcome their children and loved ones home at the end of the day,” Caulk said.

He cited data then that 425 children and adults have been killed or hurt in school shootings since 1999.

With the tax increase, the average family would pay just about $88 more a year to fund the plan’s first year cost $13.5 million. Did you know you might not even get a vote?

“No, I didn’t know that and I feel like we should get to vote for it,” Howe said.

“I think it’s different, but I do think our school board has the best interests of students in Fayette County,” Traynor said.

You only get to vote if opponents get 13.000 signatures in 45 days.

“Not having a vote kind of makes me feel like here you’re adding something else to my expenses i didn’t have a choice for,” Joy Eldredge said.

Even without a choice, many people say they’ll gladly pay.

“Yes, absolutely,” Howe said.

“That’s basically two dinners out to eat a month. I’d absolutely be willing to pay that for the safety of all children of Fayette County,” Traynor said.