Beyond the blackboard

Published 6:36 pm Monday, May 21, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
For W.S. Neal Middle School Principal Dennis Hadaway, blackboards are almost a relic in the classroom.
As technology takes over, Hadaway said his school needs money so that students can compete in today's world.
But Hadaway said his school needs a school tax renewal just to keep the basics.
For example: Losing two teachers may not sound like many, Hadaway said the loss would be tremendous.
Hadaway, as well as other Escambia County principals, all stand to lose a few teachers this year with Brewton City Schools standing to lose funding for programs if the 3-mill tax renewal doesn't pass in a June 5 election.
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 failed to pass the 1-mill countywide tax. County voters renewed neither of the two taxes.
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.
Hadaway said he wanted people across the county to realize this isn't a new tax, but only the renewal of one they are already required to pay.
Hadaway says W.S. Neal Middle School has implemented programs over the past few years that have never been in place at the school in the past.
The education of the students served by W.S. Neal Middle School is the top priority for Hadaway and his teaching staff.
Hadaway said the programs and courses offered at Neal Middle School are offered to benefit the student throughout the education and into their adult lives.
Hadaway says the competition is a stiff opponent when it comes to educating students. With so much more than reading, writing and arithmetic necessary to compete in the world of business, he said it is more important now than ever to continue moving forward in the field of education.
Value on the students is also at a premium with Hadaway and his staff. Educating each student who passes through the doors of the school carries a price tag for future education possibilities.
Hadaway says he is doing everything in his power to offer the best courses at the earliest opportunity to students to help give them a head start on higher education.
Hadaway believes the renewal of the 3-mil tax will make a dramatic difference in the educational opportunities of students in Escambia County. Should the tax renewal not pass, the result could be a backwards step in educational advancement for students.

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