Taxing to cover shortfalls: More than 15 Florida counties have tax proposals on the ballot in August or November to help pay for critical government services, and most of them are for school districts that need money for basics such as security, building maintenance and teacher raises. “The reason that all these referendums are on the ballot is because the school districts have been losing money since 2008,” says Tina McSoley, a Martin County School Board member. “Between testing, busing and security, we can’t sustain this system that’s been created for public schools.” School officials and teachers unions blame the Legislature for the financial crunch. Florida Phoenix. Every school in Bay County would get security upgrades if voters approve a half-cent sales tax increase Aug. 28, say school officials. Some of the money would also be used for renovations and maintenance. Panama City News Herald.
School security: When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reopens next Wednesday, it will be guarded by 18 security officers. Three are school resource officers provided by the Broward County sheriff and the city of Parkland, and 15 are campus monitors and security specialists. The school now has a single point of entry, new fences and cameras, lockable classroom doors and a new procedure for student arrival and pickup. Teachers will wear ID badges for access, and visitors will be screened before being allowed on campus. “There’s no question this first day of school will be profoundly different,” says Superintendent Robert Runcie. Sun-Sentinel. St. Johns County school officials say new security measures will be “highly visible” when the new school year begins Friday. St. Augustine Record. Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast says he will not sign an agreement to help the school district pay for school resource officers. District schools will be covered when school resumes Monday, and the district will start the process of creating its own police department. Citrus County Chronicle.