SARASOTA, Fla. – Tuesday many people took to the polls in Sarasota County to vote on a school support tax. 76% of voters said 'yes' to the tax measure that is worth more than 40 million dollars to Sarasota county schools.
As a result of the vote, property tax payers in Sarasota County will continue to pay $100 a year for every $100,000 spent in property value.
"The referendum was the difference between devastation and doing a good job," says Principal at Fruitville Elementary, Dr.Laura Kingsley.
Had the referendum not passed, there would have been ten jobs eliminated from Fruitville Elementary School alone. The Science Lab teacher at Fruitville Elementary, Andrew Jaffee, said "I would have not had a science lab position to go to which would have been devastating for me personally, it's what I love and I love the chance to share science with kids”.
The ten jobs that would have been eliminated include the art teacher, receptionist and science teacher. Jaffee said its not just important for him to have kept his science lab but for the students too. "750 kids wouldn't get to see coconuts, they wouldn't get to hold and touch things. And were growing plants in the room.”
Jaffee thinks the students will now have a more enriched schooling experience. “The referendum dollars make science, art, music, Spanish and computers possible".
Students said classes like art are important because it's fun, relaxing and lets their creative juices flow. "Art let's your brain decompress from math. When your learning something new and it's really hard, if you go and draw something you can just go 'ahhhh' for a moment and then when you can go back and it will be easier to work," says fifth grader Amber Rogerson.
Another fifth grader, Jasmine Harper, said "People ask our teachers, 'Is it science time yet, is it science time yet?' So I don't think it's the best thing to cut if money got involved".
Many are thankful for the outcome that the referendum passed. Principal at Fruitville Elementary, Dr.Laura Kingsley, said "It's exciting, its relieving, and I'm just filled with deep gratitude”.