Business plan would direct change to schools
September 15, 2017

By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star

Business leaders gathered at the Community Arts Center on Thursday heard a proposal from Cleburne County Schools Superintendent Chad Young to raise money for the county schools. Young proposed a program called “Even For Education” during a lunchtime event put on by the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce.

Young said that Even For Education would raise money by allowing customers at participating merchants the option of evening up their purchase to the next higher dollar amount. That difference would be sent to the school system every month. For example, according to Young, a $3.60 purchase would become an even $4 upon approval of the customer. The extra 40 cents will go straight to the children of Cleburne County.

Young hopes to start the program on December 1 and continue for the entire month. The program will also run in the months of March, June and August of 2018.

Young said the money will be used across the entire school system and residents will be updated with the progress and benefits of the program.

“The plan may not solve our problems immediately but with time it sure could help,” Young said.

“E4E is your way of helping provide what every child in Cleburne County deserves, the best facilities, opportunities and education offered in the United States of America. When you say yes to E4E, you have contributed to educating the children of our great county,” Young said.

Young said the county school’s budget is thin after making payments on the loans and bonds for the existing buildings and facilities.

“There’s nothing left when we make the payments, there’s nothing left to do anything with, if we needed a new school right now somewhere, we’d have to borrow every dime,” Young said.

Young said businesses that don’t have software to collect the money can have a cash box installed provided by the school system. Young held up two different types decorative cash boxes being built by the career tech center.

Young hopes to promote the Even for Education program by using local media, social media, banners and signs to bring awareness.

Steven Lines, owner of WM Grocery in Heflin, was supportive of the program and the benefits it will provide.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Lines.

At the end of the program business owners were filling out participation forms provided by the chamber.

Abby Minter, Executive Director of the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce said the program will be marketed and promoted online.