There could be a battle brewing between funding renovations at Bank of America Stadium versus public education. State lawmakers are reviewing a plan that would allow the city of Charlotte to raise food and beverage tax by one percent to upgrade the stadium.
Educators wished state lawmakers would consider raising taxes to support education.
"People are going to be disappointed," NC Association of Educators President Rodney Ellis said. "To know that the football renovations are more valuable to our legislators, if in fact they support that, than education.
Ellis says he remembers how his organization pushed hard for state lawmakers to keep the half cent sales tax around to support education, but lawmakers refused.
"You just going to have a lot of people who are going to remember that decision." Ellis said.
Some think having taxpayers foot the bill for the makeover is a good idea.
"Somebody's got to pay for it," Taxpayer Carl Bolt said. "And I think it is a public institution and it's for the public at large. Why should we saddle the ticket owners with that expense?"
Charlotte -Mecklenburg school (CMS) leaders are also weighing in. They told WBTV they are surprised how the city is busy finding money to pay for stadium upgrades and not finding money to help keep School Resource Officers in the schools. The city has decided to cut its security funding to the school district and next year will charge CMS $98,000 per officer.
Ellis says state leaders have told him education could be getting more money next year. He hopes so because he believes if the state looks out for the stadium, then politicians should look out for education.
"We have schools that need renovation," Ellis said. "We have educators who need professional development. We have students who need valuable resources and so yes, it's going to be an issue. You will hear an uproar from the folks in Charlotte."
No word when state lawmakers will make a decision concerning the tax hike.
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