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Mangum voters to determine community’s involvement with Southwest Technology Center

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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MANGUM, Okla. (KSWO) - Voters in Mangum will be heading to the polls to decide on the community’s involvement with the Southwest Technology Center in Altus.

If approved, the plan would give Mangum High School students the chance to attend Southwest Technology Center in Altus free of charge. It would also give adults living in the district the chance to attend the school with 50 percent off of their tuition. But it does come with the cost of increased property taxes. That increase would be in the amount of 10 mills.

“Ten mills basically equates to about $110 a year on a $100,000 house. Now, farmland is different because it’s a use-based property tax system. If someone had a farm that they paid $400 a year property tax on, this would make it $448, $450, somewhere in there,” said Mangum Public Schools Superintendent Shane Boothe.

That money would go to Southwest Technology Center, who would offer a variety of programs to the kids, like aviation, nursing, construction, cosmetology and more.

“The older you get the more you realize you don’t know. I think it’s imperative to give them a great foundation to start with. Oftentimes it’s unfortunate that we can either invest in education or invest in prisons. What’s the better way to go? Let’s give them a foundation and a good start,” Boothe said.

Boothe says it doesn’t just give the kids a good start. Adults taking advantage of the program can renew their education, get a fresh start and help the community.

“We need to have jobs right here and the only way for our economy here to flourish is to keep our people here. We want to keep our best and brightest right here, it’s a great place to live and the only way to show that is to have opportunities for people to stay,” Boothe said.

As Election Day draws near, Boothe encourages anyone with questions to ask them.

“Reach out to myself, the department of career tech or even Dale Latham, the superintendent at Southwest Technology Center. We’re all open to being able to discuss things if they’re wanting to know hey, what’s available for me,” Boothe said.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 9.

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