Local economist Semoon Chang said there is little “if any” negative impact on Baldwin County’s real estate market and economic development in the short-run.
“The problem is the negative impact will kick in gradually,” Chang said. “Once people begin to realize and feel the negative impact, it would be very difficult, costly and time-consuming to reverse the trend.”
What are some of the possible long-term negatives? Chang cited several, some of which might be considered positives by referendum opponents. Specifically, two of those include the growth of private schools and splintering the public school system throughout the county.
Other negative examples Chang mentioned:
Possible injuries of students from use of many portable classrooms. The Baldwin County School System said, during the campaign, that the number of portable classrooms could go from 100 today to 500 within 10 years. The increase would compensate a continued growing enrollment that has seen a 25 percent jump in the last 10 years of over 6,100 new students. The growth pattern, before the election, was expected to continue.
Hesitation of high-tech firms in locating to Baldwin County.
Lower quality of education that may lead to higher crime rates.
Slower increase in property values especially in towns in which public schools are located.
Lower quality of life in general