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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dunnellon resident says southwest Marion County has “lack of adequate schools”

To the Editor:

After attending the last school board workshop, it is apparent that the county commission’s successes promoting growth has caught the current Marion County School Board off guard.

The county school system is facing a critical situation. The school board needs to start making effective, proactive decisions and take definitive action to solve the impending school crisis that is predicted and will be soon upon us. The current lack of adequate schools in the southwest area of Marion County must be addressed and a long-term solution found.

My suggestion to the school board is to change the wording on the 1-mill property tax ballot question for the November election to include funding for new schools. As a result of soaring property values in Marion County, the programs currently funded by the 1-mill tax can easily transition to the general fund without any risk to programs, teachers, or students. This will enable a ‘building schools’ initiative without any additional taxes beyond what already exists.

This year alone, the 1-mill tax will generate an estimated $29 million. Time is of the essence and the funding for new school construction requests must be on the ballot for the voters in the November election. The lack of planning and lack of funds for new school construction must be addressed immediately.

Steve Swett
Dunnellon resident

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