Referendum creates opportunities for Pinellas students and teachers

PINELLAS COUNTY — A special tax that supports Pinellas County Schools students and teachers is up for renewal in November. Pinellas County voters have overwhelmingly supported renewals of the half-mill tax since it was first approved in 2004.

Pinellas County Schools Referendum strengthens reading, music and art programs, and provides up-to-date technology and textbooks for students.

The Referendum also helps the school district increase training opportunities for teachers and provide a more competitive salary for them. Eighty percent of Referendum revenue supplements teacher salaries. In the 2020-21 school year, teachers will receive an additional $5,231 as part of their base salary.

The Referendum provides diverse classroom libraries and powerful small-group literacy programs that help students read at grade level. Thanks to the Referendum, Pinellas schools have computer labs, interactive whiteboards, and the latest technology to engage students in learning and prepare them for college and careers. It also funds trainers who help teachers integrate technology into their lessons.

The Referendum helps the arts flourish in Pinellas County Schools. Each year, it pays for thousands of students to visit art galleries and performing art centers. All schools receive equitable funding for quality art supplies, equipment and technology that help students produce strong and award-winning works of art.

The Referendum funds music, theater and dance equipment, musical instruments, band uniforms and sound systems that support nationally recognized performing arts programs.

Every penny of Referendum funding supports Pinellas public school students and teachers. Charter schools are public schools and will receive Referendum funding based on their student enrollment.

An independent committee oversees Referendum spending to ensure that money is spent as voters intended.

The continuation of Pinellas County Schools Referendum will be on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot. The Referendum costs the average single-family homeowner about $7.15 a month. All Referendum funds support Pinellas students and teachers. Learn more at www.pcsb.org/referendum.

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