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Proposed wheel tax could benefit Tennessee school district

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 03, 2013 10:01 AM

As Common Core State Standards (CCSS) deadlines draw closer, school districts nationwide are doing what they can to make sure they are prepared for them. In school systems where budgets are tight, some officials are trying to find new ways to afford pricey - but necessary - CCSS-aligned materials.

For Tennessee's Blount County Schools, the answer to their money problem may lie in a proposed wheel tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. This measure would tax motorists based on the number of wheels their vehicles have. Currently, a portion of the County's property tax and sales tax goes toward education. With additional state funding, Blount County can expect to receive around $79.9 million in funding in the next academic year. Unfortunately, the district's proposed budget is about $86.86 million. Introducing a wheel tax would be a way to increase school funding without raising property taxes.

While not everybody will be open to the idea of a wheel tax, Blount County educators view it as essential if they are to successfully deliver instruction under the CCSS.

"We are in great need of some textbooks and some materials that are aligned in the new Common Core State Standards that our students and teachers will be measured on in the future," Rob Britt, Blount County's director of schools, told WBIR-TV.