Council OKs BOE spending

Published 12:52 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

City’s half-cent education tax puts $1M in schools

Andalusia Superintendent Ted Watson said Tuesday he hopes the approximately $1 million from a half-cent education sales tax locals schools receive each year helps enhance the marketability of the community for years to come.

“We do not take the money you all give us lightly,” Watson said just after the city council approved the city school board’s funding request for the 2018-19 school year. Language in the city ordinance authorizing a half-cent sales tax for education requires the board to present its annual proposal and request for use of the money in July of each year.

“Everything we’re putting funds in to is part of our plan to work on safety, improve buildings, or add technology to enhance our curriculum,” Watson said. “There is a big wheel called Andalusia and we are a cog in that wheel. We take that very seriously.

“We hope when every comes in, they see what we do as an extra positive for employees and businesses and corporations, so we can enhance Andalusia’s marketability for years to come.

The council approved the board’s requests, which includes:

$500,000 toward the Andalusia High School auditorium/stadium project, currently under way.

$110,000 for the system’s Apple computer lease. The lease puts 1,347 ipads, laptops and desktops in the school system.

$75,000 for continuation of the music program at AHS.

$262,000 for the STEM/CTE initiative.

The allocation includes $212,000 to implement four V-Tech labs, including one each at Andalusia Elementary and Andalusia Junior High, and two at AHS.

The allocation also includes $15,000 for an analyst and $35,000 for equipment needed to run the new video board in the stadium. Students will learn to manage the equipment and produce video in a career tech class.

$15,000 for contingency funds.

$108,000 for the first year’s debt service on the construction bond funding the AHS projects.