SURE and Sarasota County Schools – Peace & Justice Wednesday, Feb 28 at 9 a.m.
Written by Tom Walker on Saturday, February 24, 2018
This coming Wednesday, February 28, at 9:00 a.m. we’ll have in the studio Will Newton, Executive Director of SURE – Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity – and Steve Scott, community activist for affordable housing and voter rights. We’ll talk about SURE’s goals and upcoming assembly. SURE is an association of nineteen Sarasota churches whose mission is “to unite people of faith in Sarasota County so that they can powerfully hold systems accountable in the community to a Godly standard of justice. For over a decade, SURE has been a definitive ministry in Sarasota, crossing lines of faith, denomination, age, race, geography, and income. Members of SURE congregations work hard to build relationships in their congregations and their communities, discuss their concerns for the city and county, research solutions to serious problems they select, present them to the proper officials and work with them to make “sure” our community is a just one.”
In the second half of the program, our guest will be Shirley Brown, member of the Sarasota County Board of Education.
Next month on March 20 voters in Sarasota County will decide whether to renew the 1-mill referendum local option property tax first approved in 2002 that provides extra funding for the elementary, middle, and high schools in our district. If the funding is renewed, it yields approximately $56.5 million extra dollars for Sarasota schools yearly. Those “extra” dollars have been the primary reason the Sarasota school system is one of only two districts in the state to receive an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education every year since the grade rating began.
The money from the referendum renewal will be used to continue the extra funding of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). It also provides students 30 more minutes of classroom instruction per day. This helps the district reduce the academic disparities between children of different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. It also continues the boost in teachers’ pay which brings the best teachers to our district each year.