No tax, no new teacher?

Published 3:00 pm Monday, April 23, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Pollard-McCall Junior High School has a lot at stake in a June 5 vote for a tax renewal, the school's principal said last week.
Pollard-McCall Junior High School, which would see a $66,000 decrease in funding, is facing what other schools in Escambia County are facing if a 3-mill county tax is not passed by voters June 5.
Up for a vote is a 3-mill district tax and a 1-mill countywide tax. In an August vote last year, both tax renewals failed to gain enough support from voters to pass. In that election, Brewton city voters passed the 3-mill tax designated for city schools, but county voters did not. Voters also defeated the county-wide 1-mill tax that would benefit both school districts.
The non-renewal of the taxes would cause county schools to lose about $600,000 each year, while the city school system would lose about $70,000 annually.
Pollard-McCall Junior High School, originally constructed in 1922, serves 198 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. White said the number of students increase by 30 this school year alone.
White said that State Board of Education regulations limit how many students can be housed in one class.
Although teaching the leaders of tomorrow is the main function of the school, a good learning environment takes money as well.
White said with the age of the school, keeping the facility in a good state of repair is sometimes a difficult undertaking.
White said the school's gym is in desperate need of repairs, but feels with the financial cuts already being experienced by the school and the potential for further cuts, the roof may have to wait.
White said if funding continues to be cut, the gym is not the only part of the school that will suffer.
White feels strongly about the future of the students he lovingly calls his &#8220children.” Concerns of limits on academic and liberal arts experiences for the students are high on the list White has compiled.