The article has a number of facts that collectively debunk four common misconceptions.
Look here for data supporting his arguments.
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has joined the League of Women Voters and The Gainesville Sun in endorsing the One Mill for Schools. According to its position paper, the Chamber is supporting the one mill "to support strategies to increase educational gains in Alachua County's K-12 system, to sustain area jobs and support other positive economic indicators locally."
Excellent news! The Alachua County League of Women Voters has endorsed the One Mill for Schools!
In a document the organization is distributing to the public, the League recommends that citizens vote YES for the one mill, saying "In this time of continually decreasing state funding for schools, the League believes that local communities should have the ability to raise supplementary funds to support quality local public education."
It's very significant that this non-partisan group with a long history and excellent reputation of voter education has endorsed the One Mill. League officials say they plan to publicly announce their endorsement through the media in the next few days.
There are eight different ballots here in Alachua County! Every one of those ballots is four pages long, two pages front and back.
Which ballot you'll get depends on where you live. But on all versions of the ballot, the One Mill for Schools is located on the very last page on the right hand side of the page. It's labeled like this:
ALACHUA COUNTY QUESTION 2
Voting YES means you are in favor of the one mill.
The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections' website has sample ballots that you can review before voting. You can even pull up the exact ballot you'll be filling out based on your address. You can check it out at http://www.votealachua.com/.
That website also has information on early voting and voting by absentee ballot, both of which can save you a lot of time at the polls.
Whatever method you choose, make sure your voice is heard and VOTE!
The investment in schools that this community made back in 2008 is paying off in a big way.
Nearly every day there's news about a students or group of students accomplishing great things. A very significant number of those students are involved in programs directly funded by the one mill initiative, which was promoted by Citizens for Strong Schools and approved by Alachua County voters.
Thanks to that vote, our students and schools have resources that have been cut or eliminated in schools all over the country. Schools here in Florida have been particularly hard hit, with state leaders cutting funding with one hand and adding expensive new mandates with the other.
But our schools have thrived because local parents, business leaders and other citizens took matters into their own hands. Thanks to the one mill, our elementary schools still have full time art, music and guidance programs. Middle schools have maintained their band programs. The one mill is supporting the very successful academic and career/tech programs in elementary, middle and high schools. It's funding media centers. It's also funding innovative classroom technology that helps teachers teach and students learn.
If it's renewed by local voters this fall, revenues from the one mill will also be used for high school bands and chorus programs in both middle and high schools.
Renewal of the one mill will also guarantee that all of our schools will have a nurse for the next four years. Right now school nurses are funded through Medicaid, but with things the way they are in Washington, D.C., there's no guarantee that will continue.
You can read about the accomplishments of some of Alachua County's students here. And remember, there are great things happening in schools every day that don't make the news. The people of this community can be proud of what they've done to make those things possible.
Of course, all of us benefit from having good schools. They boost property values and the local economy. You can be sure that any business looking to bring jobs to our area is looking very closely at the quality of our schools.
Citizens for Strong Schools is proud of the role it played in supporting the one mill back in 2008 and we look forward to getting it renewed for another four years. We invite you to learn more about this effort and to join with us as we encourage our friends and neighbors to vote for the One Mill Renewal on Election Day, November 6.
Two new national reports highlight just how bad school funding in Florida really is.
The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual Public Education Finances report. The report shows that Florida is ranked 50th in the nation in state funding per pupil. That's down from 49th in last year's report.
According to the report, Florida spent $3127 on each student, compared to the national average of $5352 (or about 42% less). The entire report is available Here.
There's also a new report out from the Education Law Center and Rutgers University. The report, "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card," gives Florida an 'F' for K-12 funding effort and a 'D' for funding distribution. Florida is one of the three lowest-ranked states in the nation for overall funding and fairness.
That report is available Here.
These reports confirm the 2012 Quality Counts report from January,
which also gave Florida an 'F' for school funding.