(DAPHNE, Ala.) - The one cent sales tax in Baldwin County is crucial to the livelihood of seven to eight schools staying open. Leaders are battling a looming multi-million dollar budget deficit if it's not passed. Today school leaders warned of schools closing and teachers losing jobs.
School closings if the tax does not pass could include Stapleton, Delta, Swift, Elsanor, and Rosinton Elementary Schools.
At Rosinton Elementary, news that this rural school is on the chopping block isn't sitting well with long time 6th grade teacher Joel Coberly. He's been at the school 16 years.
"Right now our chief concern is maintaining a high level of professionalism with our kids and taking care of our students, " said Coberly.
Today the message of doom and gloom was for the voters.
"That one cents sales tax expires on the 31st of May," said School Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee.
If the penny sales tax is not renewed on November 6th, cuts could run the gamut.
"It would threaten our band programs and greatly reduce what we could provide in the arts. It would threaten our athletic programs. It would result in more crowded classrooms than we have today and we are projecting as many as 7 to 8 schools that could potentially have to be closed," said Lee.
"My son is so energized about what he's learning here at Daphne Elementary if he's going to lose the opportunity to participate in art and music and some of the things that makes this special then its going to be really sad," said Deb Geiger mother of a Daphne Elementary student.
Come election day, voters will elect the president and then have to wade through 12 different amendments. The last amendment on the ballot in Baldwin County will be Amendment 2 for that sales tax. Proponents of the tax say legal wording required the word "additional" to be used when describing the tax.
The warning is for voters not to be confused come election day.
"The word additional is in there because we are talking about a new penny but that is not the case. We are talking about being able to continue the funding we have and folks will not be paying more, " said Denese D'Oliviera with the Invest In Progress Campaign.