A local grass roots organization has come together in support of the proposed construction of a new Gulfport High School. Monday, News 25 spoke with the group’s members to find out what they are all about. Tabari Daniels, a local radio DJ and now a supporter of the new Gulfport High School, says, “Why not? It’s gonna’ be worth it for the kids. Why not get them the things that they need for advancement and to be competitive nationwide?” Daniels is also co-chairman of Excellence in Education, a local grassroots group supporting the construction of the new high school.
Daniels says, “With Gulfport High School, they're already doing so well scholastically, but for them to maintain that competitive edge in academics, this is the best way to do it.” The group is trying to convince Gulfport residents to vote yes on the property tax increase that will fund the new school’s construction. According to Excellence in Education, the 50 year old school is too out of date to meet the modern needs of students.
Bryan Caldwell of Excellence in Education says, “A new Gulfport High School, a strong Gulfport School District benefits this entire community, and I don't know that I look at this as much as a tax increase as it is an investment in the future of our kids.” The vote on the property tax increase will be held on May 27th. If Gulfport voters go for it, then property taxes will increase $39 a year for $100,000 worth of property for a term of 20 years. Monday, News 25 spoke with several parents to see what they thought about the new high school.
Mary Bodenhamer, a parent, says, “I think it’s extremely necessary. This is an old, old building. We don't have enough room here.” Carlos Bright, another parent, says, “As long as it's a better place for kids to go to school... It ain't free so you're going to have to pay for it.” News 25 also spoke with one parent who didn't agree with the proposed tax increase. The parent wants the school district to find another way to pay for school. Excellence in Education is ready to address concerns like that.
Daniels closes, “We have a series of town meetings where people if they have any concerns, we're going do some of those town hall meetings at some of the schools so we can get out actually into the community.” Excellence in Education is holding a public campaign meeting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Gulfport Schools Administrative Building on Pass Road. At that point, the group will decide when it will hold its town hall meeting.