City OKs Wal-Mart zoning

Published 2:08 pm Monday, April 16, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
John Knott said he needs more computers and teachers for his students at W.S. Neal Elementary School.
But the principal is afraid that if a school tax renewal does not pass in June, he may not even be able to maintain what he has.
Escambia County voters will go to the polls June 5 to decide whether to keep two decades-old property taxes designed to benefit schools.
Up for a vote is a 3-mill district tax and a 1-mill countywide tax. In an August vote, city voters passed the 3-mill tax designated for city schools. County voters did not pass the 3-mill tax designated for county schools. The 1-mill countywide tax - which benefits both school systems - also failed.
The non-renewal of the tax would cause county schools to lose about $600,000 each year, while the city school system would lose about $70,000 annually.
Knott said that even though additional teachers and computers would greatly benefit the students already enrolled at the school, simply maintaining the quality of the education currently offered at the school takes money.
Serving the students well would be a benefit to the entire area by educating students in a way that makes them productive citizens of the community. In 2006, W.S. Neal Elementary met all of their AYP goals without any problems.
Knott said he hoped that every voter would see the importance of passing this tax renewal and make their way to the polls on June. 5.

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