SEBRING — The School Board of Highlands County unanimously approved Monday a resolution to place a half-cent sales tax referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot.
If approved by voters, the tax would be in place for 15 years starting on Jan. 1, 2015, and would fund security and technology improvements and school construction and renovation projects.
At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Wally Cox said he continued to recommend 15 years for the duration of the tax and also recommended keeping the referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Cox said he talked to the District School Advisory Council recently about the half-cent tax and the council has endorsed it.
He also met with the teachers on the ECET2 team (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching), Cox said, and one of the board members suggested getting teachers involved in the half-cent project.
“We also plan to work with businesses,” he said.
Security issues are among the priorities to be addressed with funding from the half-cent sales tax, Cox noted. The Volusia County School District recently adopted a half-cent resolution with almost the same priorities as the School Board of Highlands County.
With a vote on Aug. 26, Volusia is seeking an extension of its half-cent sales tax, which has a 15-year term that expires on Dec. 31, 2016.
The Volusia School District states that the half-cent extension will be used for security, technology and facility issues - all necessary to ensure its students’ success by providing a safe and secure learning environment with 21st century tools.
Highlands Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations Mike Averyt said he spoke with County Administrator June Fisher who stated the district’s half-cent resolution will be on the Board of County Commissioner’s June 3 agenda for a vote.