To the Editor:
Our community leaders are considering placing a tax initiative on our Perry County ballot in 2022 that would fund a 13th community college that focuses on technical training, forcing Mineral Area College out. We urge them to reconsider.
All three school districts of Jackson, Cape and Perryville would be part of this tax initiative. If our community leaders decide to move forward by putting this tax increase on the ballot, we could be saddled with the taxation even if we vote it down. This would happen if it passed by a larger majority in Cape and Jackson districts.
Adding a 13th community college to the state of Missouri would minimize monies currently funding the 12 colleges already in place. Many are already struggling to keep their doors open due to decreased funding and lack of students. Another college would only compound these struggles.
MAC has been a part of Perryville for almost 30 years. Mineral Area College supports our community.
For example, they allow the Perry County Military Museum, the Perry County Historical Society, the State Driver’s License Testing Center, and so much more to reside in the PHEC free of charge to these entities.
It has been stated that the 13th community college would focus on technical training. We understand the need for technical training for our industries in Perry County. We have the Perryville Area Career and Technology Center and Ranken Technical College to meet those needs without an additional tax to the people. Our county has already given Ranken $300,000 to open a campus in Perryville ($100,000 a year for three years).
Perryville is not part of the Mineral Area College Taxing District and they continue to maintain a campus here and will continue to do so without an additional tax to the people.