One Acadiana announced its endorsement of a 7.27-mill property tax renewal on Saturday’s ballot that supports Lafayette Parish School System operations.
The millage has been on the rolls for more than 40 years and generates about $14 million a year for the school system.
The revenue is equivalent to 215 teacher salaries and benefits, One Acadiana officials said in a news release.
“The millage represents more than 20 percent of the total parish millage dedicated to schools (33.56 mills) and, if not renewed, would spell significant cuts to funding for prekindergarten through 12th-grade education,” the release says.
During a recent School Board meeting, Lafayette Parish schools Superintendent Donald Aguillard stressed that the millage renewal is not a new tax.
“The millage has been on the books for 40 years, and these revenues are critical to our current school operations,” Aguillard said in the release. “LPSS is grateful to have the support of the business community for this renewal.”
The news release also included support from Jim Henderson, chairman of One Acadiana’s Public Education Committee. He is also provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“We greatly appreciate the progress LPSS is making and understand that this funding plays a pivotal role in the student success improvements we’ve seen,” Henderson said in the release.
“Nonrenewal will force significant cuts to academic programs. As a community, we cannot hope to improve student achievement by slashing funds for schools.”
One Acadiana, formerly the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, is a regional economic development organization that represents the nine-parish Acadiana region.
Its president and CEO, Jason El Koubi, said in a statement: “We want the Lafayette community to know that businesses are solidly behind protecting funds for our kids. A strong public education system is a key driver of economic development and competitiveness but more importantly it is the backbone of any community. We encourage the community to vote ‘yes’ at the polls this Saturday in order to continue funding our future.”