• Flier promoting a tax increase for Volusia County schools upsets some residents


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A flyer promoting a tax increase for Volusia County schools isn't sitting well with some parents.

    The school district is sending the fliers home with students, urging parents to vote for the tax next month.

    The law said school districts can educate citizens on an issue, but they can't tell them how to vote. While the fliers don't say, "vote yes," it's not hard to catch the subliminal message, according to Channel 9's Lori Brown.

    The flyers are appearing everywhere in Volusia County schools and on newsletters and websites, but some parents are crying foul.

    "I find it appalling they have to use our students to get tax increases," said grandparent Steve Malin.

    Seminole County schools also recently came under fire for sending home flyers with students promoting their property tax increase.

    However, Volusia County didn't use tax dollars for their cards. The money was donated by the PTA and futures.

    Still, Malin said he feels like his grandchildren are being used as political pawns to get a tax increase passed.

    An article to be published in school newsletters says, "Would you pay an extra $5 a month to save programs and teachers at your child's school?"

    "I don't like the indoctrination of our students by administrators," said Mallin.

    Volusia County Public Schools spokesperson Nancy Wait said it is the district's duty to inform people why the school board voted to put the school tax referendum on the ballot.

    "That's not advocating one way or another, it's just stating the facts," she said. "We are going to have to cut programs for arts, athletics and even academics in order to balance our budget, because we are projecting a $25 million deficit for next school year."

    If approved, the one mill increase is expected to generate $26 million a year and would expire in four years.

    Seminole County's flyer points out that the district has lost 750 employees over the past four years, and is facing cuts to music, arts and sports programs.

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