Making the grade

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, September 6, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Local school officials hope next week's tax renewal vote results match or exceed the results from the last time the school tax was renewed - about a quarter century ago.
Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Sept. 12, to consider an ad valorem tax renewal totaling 4 mills.
The last time the taxes were on the ballot, Escambia County Superintendent Billy Hines said, residents voted overwhelmingly to approve the tax renewal by about 90 percent.
The taxes - a 1-mill district tax and 3-mill county-wide tax - date back almost 80 years, said Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith.
The district tax must pass with a 60 percent majority. The county-wide tax only needs a simple majority to pass.
Smith said parents will likely receive letters early next week reminding them of the vote.
In 2003, voters approved a new 10-mill tax to help schools. That new money has also helped the schools, local officials said.
Hines said recent improved test scores show how important the funding is to local schools.
Hines also noted that the success of schools can impact the entire community.

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