Schoolhouse Beat

Orange County (Fla.) district plans 2014 sales tax referendum for school construction

Orange County, Fla., voters will be asked next year to extend a half-penny sales tax for school construction and renovation. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the county school board has decided to ask voters in 2014 to approve a new half-cent tax that would kick in when the existing one ends in 2015. The tax, which began in 2003, was projected to pay for work on 136 schools. But district officials say it won't raise enough to do work on 39 of the campuses on the original list. They also say that 20 other older schools soon will need major repairs, several new campuses need to be built to handle growth, other schools need security and technology upgrades.

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