Possible millage increase for Valley View

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Over the past couple of years the valley view school district has reached maximum capacity in some grades.  If the trend continues, they will need more room soon!

The school has built two new projects the past decade and did not ask for additional funding from tax payers to build those, but now that additional money they had is gone.  This survey is going out this week with students for their parents to fill out asking if they support a millage increase.

This is one classroom in the valley view junior high that is full of students.

"We just can't keep up with the number of people moving in," said Rebecca Perrin.

There are 202 sixth grade students and not all of them get to go to class inside the regular building.

"There are six of us that are not in a regular classroom," said Perrin.
Rebecca Perrin has her classroom in a portable building outside the sixth grade wing.  She said there are 25 students in her class, a big change from ten years ago.

"We all had about 19 to 20 students.  I even had one year where I had 17 kids and in ten years we have grown 1,000 students," said Perrin.

Superintendent Radius Baker said now they are looking into providing more room but if they do they will have to ask for help.

"If we are going to build anything then we are going to have to have a tax increase," said Baker.

The elementary building is the last project they finished at eleven million dollars.

"Our elementary school that we just built is at capacity and we built it thinking we would have four to six classrooms extra," said Baker.

Baker said they hope a survey sent out this week will help guide them.

"We're trying to gauge what our community thinks and if they feel like they would support if they feel like we need a millage increase," said Baker.

The millage rate is at 37.6%.  Baker said 12.6% of the mills are dedicated to pay for existing debts while 25% pay for staff, teachers, equipment and operating expenses.

Baker said they will go over the surveys when they get them back in and evaluate the results.  If they decide to ask for a millage increase, that could be on the ballot as early as September or in a special election after the first of next year.

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