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OPINION

LETTERS: Once again, a half-cent sales tax can boost schools

Northwest Florida Daily News

WRITE TO US! Send a letter to the editor to the Daily News by following this link or the News Herald by following this link.

School Cents Makes Sense is a local movement to approve an additional half-cent sales tax for public schools. As a retired teacher with 38 years in the classrooms of Brevard and Okaloosa Counties, I’m supporting this action to improve/replace our school buildings, update the technology, and buy some new buses.

Tom and I are in our 70’s, and the public school buildings we sat in each day are still in use as schools. At the time I started teaching in Okaloosa (1974) teachers and students had to contend with moldy carpets, poorly-ventilated rooms, limited bathrooms, and outdated classroom equipment.

More:Sales-tax campaign for schools kicks off

More:School District’s sales tax question to be on Nov. ballot

A four-year, half-penny sales tax was approved in 1994, and every project that was proposed was completed. My schools got some nice computers in the classrooms and a dedicated computer lab, and each teacher received a laptop or desktop computer for their personal classroom use. FWBHS’s Home Economics department got a facelift in 1997; there were many other upgrades to all the schools, and then the money dried up when the term of the increase ended.

Michelle Anchors announces a new initiative at Edwins Elementary School on Tuesday to acquire a half-cent sales tax to help repair aging schools in Okaloosa County.

While it’s been a couple of decades since our daughter Meghan walked the same ramps at Pryor and Choctawhatchee/Meigs as her parents did, we have all done our best to continue supporting our schools.

In this vein, we have enjoyed watching the JROTC cadets, band members, choristers and cheerleaders do their part by serving countless pancakes and brewing gallons of coffee for the numerous unfunded program needs at those schools. Pancake fundraising efforts just aren’t enough now, and we hope you can share our determination with positive support for this important issue.

I want my two grandchildren (Kg. and 2 nd grade) to have the facilities, computers, books, classroom supplies and tools that they will need for learning now and for their futures.

I trust our school officials to choose what is needed to bring our schools into this century in every way, but we need to help them by voting YES for this half-cent sales tax. We’ve done it before — please support this movement and vote YES in November.

Peggy Rice, Fort Walton Beach