I read with great interest the article appearing last weekend regarding the proposed tax hike scheduled for the March referendum.
I agree that our teachers should be paid fairly, and the discrepancy between what Sarasota County teachers are paid and what our teachers are paid is shameful. What concerns me about this proposed tax is whether in fact the money collected will go to our teachers.
According to the article, 15.5 percent will go to programs — not salaries, and the rest of the money would go to teachers, the administrators, managers and even Charter Schools. The real question is how much money will go to the teachers. I don’t mind paying the additional taxes because I believe in and support a strong educational system. What bothers me is the way this additional tax is being sold as strictly a good thing that will benefit teachers.
If the School Board will guarantee that until our teachers’ average salaries match Sarasota County, that none of the money collected will go to superfluous programs or administrators and managers who are already well-compensated, then I will vote “Yes.”
Charlie Kennedy is reportedly to have said that under the current plan, the new revenue would go “partially” to teachers’ salaries. In that case, where a substantial portion of the revenue ends up with others, then my vote is “No.” I suspect that many others feel this way.