Sales tax hikes: The Martin County School Board is asking residents to approve two tax hikes. In August, voters will be asked to approve a half-mill property tax increase to boost teacher pay and development and pay for school security and extra mental-health services. The tax would raise about $11.2 million a year for four years. In November, voters will consider a seven-year, half-cent sales tax increase that would generate about $112 million for school construction and upgrades. TCPalm. Okaloosa County School Board member Dewey Destin wants to district to reconsider a ballot initiative to increase the sales tax by a half-cent to raise money for schools. If approved, the tax hike would raise about $17 million a year for the district, which could spend it only for capital projects such as construction and upgrades. Northwest Florida Daily News.
School security forces: Brevard County School Board members brush off a protest against arming school employees, and the advice of the superintendent and county sheriff, and say they will proceed with gathering information on the state’s marshal program. Board members say they’d prefer to have school resource officers, but the district doesn’t have the money and they aren’t interested in tapping reserves or raising taxes. Three town hall meetings are scheduled to discuss the best way to protect schools, and the board will decide next month whether to approve the marshals program. Florida Today. Switching to an internal police department will save the Sarasota County School District up to $1.5 million in the 2018-2019 school year, officials say. There is some question whether the district can put together a department of two administrators, a detective, two sergeants and 24 deputies before the next school year begins Aug. 13. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.