Sales Tax Revenue Provides Technology, Improvements
There are more than 1,700 students in the Andalusia City School system.
Every student in grades K-12 will have access to an electronic device in the upcoming school year.
The technology will be paid for by the city’s half cent sales tax, which has been in effect for six years.
The revenue from the tax is used exclusively for education.
“We’ve steadily worked to make gains towards a one-to-one initiative for our kids,” Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Ted Watson says.
Watson says the school system has now reached a long-time goal by putting a learning device into the hands of each student.
“It’s expensive up front but when you get to looking at the mileage you get out of the device, you begin to realize it’s a money saving thing that brings education to life in a very real way,” Watson says.
“Our students have to be brought up to be in step with the technology and not only in step with technology but have the learning ability, have the skills to move to the next level of technology,” Andalusia mayor Earl Johnson says.
While technology is the focus, Johnson says that money will also be used to make improvements around the school.
“One of the things that needs to be renovated is the flooring in a building to help get asbestos out,” Johnson says.
Improvements to the school’s parking lot and fencing around sporting fields are also in the works.
The school also will use the money to hire a new music teacher and improve the music program.
“It’s stepping the school up to a higher level, not only in facilities but in programs and technology,” Johnson says.
Watson says the funding will provide access to better learning and technology advancement.
“But you can’t move forward if you don’t have funding and so you have to have the vision for all of that and you have to funding for all those things and so thats what everybody here as allowed us and afforded us to do,” Watson says.
Andalusia City Schools begin August 5th. The tax increase generates about $1.1-1.2 million dollars in revenue annually for the school system.