By Mike Springer
May 11, 2013
Crawfordville, FL-With the Wakulla County Schools facing a budget deficit, it's up to voters to help dig them out.
Wakulla County residents are heading to the polls for a special election referendum. They must decide whether to levy an ad valorem millage of one half mill to help pay for the school system's operational costs.
"I think it's a good idea. If you don't invest in the kids, who will?," said Wakulla County resident, Erick Jackson.
Officials say declining enrollment and a struggling economy hurt the schools.
But they are confident the referendum can alleviate some of that and help the schools in some much needed areas.
The School Board says if the referendum passes, the money generated from it could pay for better buses and technology upgrades at the schools.
"When we make early investments in our children's education it translates into greater dividends for all of society," said Rachel Pienta.
Pienta is the chairwoman for the Wakulla Democratic Party. She says the referendum has her backing.
"Spending money on kids in schools means fewer prison beds. It means more people contributing to the workforce as we are training them to become citizens in our society," she said.
If it passes, the millage change would take effect July 1. It would last for no more than four years.
Early voting is Saturday. The polls open again on Tuesday, May 14.