Questions have been asked as to why it is important for our parents to provide proof of residence documentation to our schools. The simple answer has to do with the funding of our schools. It costs a great deal of money to educate our children. Expenses include the cost for personnel (teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, secretaries, security officers, food service workers, media personnel, transportation workers, custodians etc...), instructional materials, software, utilities, energy, consumable items, maintenance materials, cleaning supplies and on and on and on... We are constantly looking at ways in which we can keep the cost of all of these items down. It cost approximately $8,050 for each child to attend school in McDuffie County. Approximately $5,500 comes from state funds, $150 comes from federal funds, and $2,400 comes from our local taxpayers in McDuffie County.
The breakdown of expenses does NOT include money for textbooks, computers, buses, or facilities since those items are paid for with SPLOST, or the 1 cent sales tax.
What does this have to do with our parents providing proof of residency? Each and every child that attends our schools cost the McDuffie County taxpayers $2,400 per year. Those children whose parents reside in neighboring counties are NOT paying taxes to McDuffie County. If they are allowed to attend our schools without proving residency, then their expenses are essentially paid for by those of us who do pay taxes in McDuffie County. If only 5% of our students are not residents, then the McDuffie County citizens are paying nearly a half million dollars ($500,000) each and every year for these students to attend our schools. Those students should be attending schools in the county in which their parents actually reside. Their home county has collected the taxes to pay for them to attend there in the first place.
We are obligated to seek out those who intend to cheat the system and work to illegally send their children to school across county lines. Those individuals are not only attempting to break the rules, they are taking valuable resources away from those who are residents of McDuffie County. The honest tax paying and law abiding citizens of McDuffie County should have no problem proving their residency status. We have attempted to make that a simple and quick process.