The school district made several errors as it badly sold the school tax referendum. But it’s not about punishing the board. It’s is about warding off mediocrity in a district that managed, against odds, to maintain quality through recession and state and federal cutbacks. That quality is in jeopardy without a Yes to the referendum.
Amendments and Referendums
Flagler County’s four secondary-school principals say restoring 45 minutes to the school day, or the equivalent of a month’s worth education, is indispensable if the district’s students are to excel consistently.
In an endorsement of the half-mill school tax levy, Flagler County Property Appraiser James Gardner responds to claims that the school district has “continually increased our taxes. Based upon factual information, this is simply not true.” He shows why.
Citing the benefits of a longer school day and deputies in elementary schools, Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre issued a statement Monday afternoon in support of the June 7 tax referendum proposing to increase property taxes to support programs in the school district.
The Flagler County school, district may close Everest alternative school (formerly Pathways) if the June 7 referendum for a modest property tax increase fails. Jo Ann Nahirny, a teacher at Matanzas High School, describes the disruptions of managing a classroom with felons and sex offenders in seats alongside other students.
Adding to a growing debate over the June 7 Flagler County School Board tax referendum, Brad West argues against the levy, saying the district taxes constituents enough as it is, while the “cup-of-coffee-per-month” argument is a more expensive proposition than the board claims.
After 13 hours of at times harrowing debate, the Flagler County School Board by Tuesday evening settled on $1.8 million in cuts, sparing most programs but not Everest alternative school. The cuts will be restored should voters approve a tax referendum on June 7.
“I will vote for the half mill, and I ask those that are on the fence or are leaning “no” to reconsider,” writes Andy Dance, the Flagler County School Board chairman, who has himself reconsidered his earlier opposition to the full .50-mill tax referendum. He explains why.
Flagler County School Board Chairman Andy Dance has been taking and answering questions on the referendum, on June 7, proposing to raise property taxes modestly to ensure the continuation of certain academic programs. The full Q&A is published here.
The Flagler County School Board found the $1.8 million in cuts it needed to balance its books Thursday, but was also told that closing Indian Trails Middle, Wadsworth Elementary or Old Kings Elementary may become necessary by 2014-15 if enrollment declines persist.