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"Island" Students Feeling Deserted After Recent Valdosta Annexations

The countdown is on, just a few more tests and classes and then students are out for the summer.

But 250 Lowndes County students are now wondering whether they will be back at the same school next year.

Now that these island students are city of Valdosta residents, Lowndes County schools are out of tax dollars and students.

"If we could just get their portion from their household, their ad valorum tax to follow them to our school system if they want to stay with us, which I feel is what most of them want to do,” says County School Board Member Fred Wetherington.

But that decision falls solely on the Valdosta School Board, since they would have to redirect the property tax from the annexed homes to the county system.

While it seems the issue of property tax is the hot topic for debate right now, board members say their focus is on the kids. After speaking with several Valdosta school board members it looks like they could be deciding that fate shortly.

"What we would like to do is set a policy that would allow the residents in those islands to have freedom of choice in where they send their children to school,” says Valdosta School Board Jeff Sikes.

Which, is music to many parents and student's ears

The only question now is figuring out how to fund their decisions.

Lowndes County School Board members plan to introduce the Valdosta School Board's proposal at next Tuesday’s board meeting.


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