Perry C. McGriff, Jr.: Now we will watch your money

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:08 p.m.

Congratulations, Alachua County. With your strong support of the renewal of the One Mill for Schools, you have made a wise investment in high quality schools.

As a businessman, I know how important that is to the economic success of any community. Strong schools are a magnet for new businesses, new residents and new jobs. The success of local students on the SAT, Advanced Placement program and many other areas is a major selling point for us.

I also recognize the importance of accountability. That’s why I agreed to become chairman of the One Mill Citizens’ Oversight Committee four years ago. That committee meets throughout the year to review the expenditures from the one mill and report back to the School Board and the public. It’s our job to ensure that the money raised through the One Mill is spent on those ballot items approved by voters. As long as the One Mill lasts, the committee will continue its work.

Over the last four years, about $35 million in One Mill funding has been spent to support elementary art, music and guidance programs, academic and career magnets, classroom technology, media centers and middle school bands. It’s currently funding more than 150 teaching positions and improving the education quality of all Alachua County public school students.

Over the next four years, the committee will also review the use of One Mill revenues for middle and high school guidance, band and chorus programs. And should the district lose Medicaid funding, the One Mill will ensure that every school has a nurse for at least the next four years.

Voters have renewed their commitment to the One Mill and to high quality education in Alachua County. I am renewing my commitment to lead the oversight committee to ensure that the One Mill continues to benefit students, schools and the entire community.

Perry C. McGriff Jr. is chair of the One Mill Oversight Committee.

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