Here’s an issue for homeowners in Florida to watch.
Education is absolutely critical to our economic growth, and obviously economic growth impacts the value of your home. But, our responsibility goes beyond our property values to our core values. By investing in our schools we are investing in our children and their development.
In 2004 Pinellas County citizens voted to increase their property taxes by a half mill to fund in-classroom spending for public schools. The goal was to make an investment in our children, and therefore a long-term investment in our community. In 2008 and 2012, our community continued this commitment by reauthorizing the half mill for education. Pinellas County voters will have the option to re-authorize once again this Fall.
Here’s what the funding goes to:
- Teacher pay: Each teacher receives an additional stipend that makes their annual pay more competitive with surrounding school districts. Pinellas County Schools is able to attract and recruit a higher caliber of teacher because of this incentive.
- Well-rounded Curriculum: With tight budgets and restrictions from Tallahassee and D.C., the arts, music, summer programs, state of the art technology, etc. have been cut from most school district budgets. In Pinellas County, we have these programs and classes to offer students because of the half mill increase, giving our children a more well-rounded education.
- In-classroom spending: Every penny of the millage rate goes to in-classroom spending, avoiding the sometimes expensive administrative bureaucracy of government. Furthermore, there is an independent citizen oversight committee to make sure they funds are being spent as intended, and wisely.