WUFT News

Marion County Commission Adds Millage Tax to Ballot for Teacher Raises

By on February 4th, 2014

Marion County commissioners voted unanimously at this morning’s commission meeting to place a millage rate increase on the ballot that would help restore salaries to teachers in programs such as art, music and media.

The property tax would collect about $60 million over a four-year period to help offset expenses in a county that’s seen numerous education cuts since the recession began in 2007.

“For the last seven years, we have been really just cutting to the bone in reference to the school system,” said school board Chairman Bobby James at the meeting.

Toward the end of the four-year period, James said the board will come up with solutions to bridge the expense gap.

“We will be looking at an innovative way to provide the kids with a quality service,” he said, adding that in the past, the board has considered laying off more than 250 people and cutting the school week to four days to balance the budget.

Superintendent George Tomlin said the rate increase could also help restore the board’s fund balance, or savings account.

“We have essentially decimated our fund balance,” he said. “And we believe that this will help us grow that savings account up to a respectable amount.”

Many residents have suggested the Commission implement a sales tax instead, similar  to one voted forward in the 1990s used to build new schools, said school board spokesman Kevin Christian in an interview.

“But you cannot use a sales tax to pay salaries,” he said.


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • John Stewart

    This article is misleading. The school officials are talking about filling vacant positions, not giving raises to existing employees. The teacher are getting a raise thanks to the state.

 

More Stories in Education

Hernando County Proposes School Rezoning Plans

Hernando County public schools may be rezoned for the 2016-2017 school year. Plans to rezone several schools in the county came about due to overcrowding in some schools.


Judy Beverly's summer migrant students perform "The Three Little Pigs" at Alachua Elementary on June 25. The play marked the end of the three-week camp.

Summer Programs Keep Migrant Children Learning

Counties around north central Florida are keeping migrant children learning throughout the summer. The programs are put into place to reduce disruptions migrant children face in their education due to frequent moves.


Postdoctoral Student Creates STEM Program For Girls

Charlotte Germain-Aubrey, a biology postdoctoral student, created a camp for middle school girls where they can be exposed to the different STEM fields. A different field of science is covered each day at WiSE Girlz Camp, including biology, chemistry, astronomy, engineering and computer science.


Alachua County Delays Approval Of Contract For Police In Schools

The Alachua County Commission met Tuesday to discuss police presence in schools. Discussions reached a stalemate as Superintendent Owen Roberts did not approve the request for police due to funding limits.


Tony Malo reviews "Beyond Thought," one of his students' films in his classroom on May 21. His class has just finished their end-of-the-year projects.

Gainesville High Teacher Cultivates Student Creativity

Gainesville High School teacher Tony Malo uses unique teaching and disciplinary methods to prepare students for the workforce and empower them to be self-motivated while learning to collaborate in groups. He believes his experiential learning methods are more effective than teaching for standardized tests.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments