Parents react as Madison City Schools plans for growth, expansion

Many parents who attended the Madison City Board of Education meeting Thursday, to listen to plans for their students' future, tell WAAY 31 they're excited and have a lot of trust in the district's leaders.

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 5:24 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 6:23 PM

In Madison City, state-wide issued grades were stellar across the board, and now the district is talking about growth.

The first of three public meetings were held today to talk about their vision for the future and new students coming into the district.

Many parents who attended the Madison City Board of Education meeting Thursday, to listen to plans for their students' future, tell WAAY 31 they're excited and have a lot of trust in the district's leaders.

"I’ve always been extremely impressed with the school system," said Madison City parent, Greg Brown. "In fact, like many of us, that’s why we moved here when we began a family. So we could take advantage of the school system.”

Brown, and several other parents at Thursday's community meeting, praised the hard work and success of Madison City Schools.

So, when the board announced the possible expansion of current schools and the building of new schools, Brown didn’t think twice about it--even with a possible tax increase.

“I’ve never voted for a tax increase in my life, but we have incredible leadership here that have earned that trust, and we also have a world-class school system here that we would like to remain that way as we continue to grow," Brown said.

He tells WAAY 31 he is in favor of an ad valorem tax to help pay for whatever the board decides. And he's not the only one.

“We should pay for it," said Madison City parent, Silke Palmquist. "I mean, if we don’t pay for it, who will?”

Right now, the district's plan includes building a new middle school and possibly a new high school.

But should Plan A not work out, Plan B consists of building on to existing high schools, Bob Jones and James Clemens.

But Palmquist says she doesn't want to see an expansion, believing overcrowding could become a big issue.

“Both of the high schools are really great, but adding more children to them, I think it would be overloading them, even if they add new room," Palmquist said. "I think a third high school would be better to have.”

But despite all the building and money involved, parents say school leaders have proven they can be trusted.

“They should just keep up the good work," Palmquist said. "I mean, the gradings are very good, and that’s the reason why we moved here.”

A growth impact committee took notes as community members voiced their opinions at Thursday's meeting.

Board members say they will take everyone’s feedback into consideration as they move forward.

Madison school leaders say another goal is to build their pre-K program, saying they’d like to re-purpose West Madison Elementary School into a pre-K center, and build a new elementary school.

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