Schools Move Forward With Digital Transition After Tax Renewal

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JACKSON COUNTY-- The transition to digital learning will go as scheduled for Jackson County students. Voters have approved the extension of a half-cent sales tax to benefit school facilities. Part of that tax money with go to retro-fitting classrooms with digital education tools.

By a 2-to-1 margin, Jackson County voters decided Tuesday to continue investing in education. They voted to expend a half-cent sales tax for school facilities until 2025.

"I think it's so important,” said Marianna Middle School teacher, Katie Sarah. “In the past we've used that money for really important building repairs, as well as supplies."

She says the money will ease some of the challenges in her older classroom.

"We need so much in our classrooms and this half-cent sales tax will help us fill some of those needs. In my classroom I have four computers, which is actually more than most teachers have and it’s been difficult."

Now that the revenue stream is guaranteed, Superintendent Steve Benton is focusing on how to use the money.

"This will put us at ease and we can plan for what we need to do on down the road," he said.

There are even plans to build a K through 8 school.

"We are applying for a special facilities to build a new K-8 school here in town and it will replace 3 of the old schools that are 60 years old,” said Benton.

And over the next few years, all Jackson County school students will receive their own computers. The first group will go to students from kindergarten through third grade.

The new K-through-8 school would replace Riverside and Golson Elementaries as well as Marianna Middle School.
They’ll need funding from the state legislature.