At the October West Orange Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting, the board voted to support the continuation of the Orange County Public Schools current one-mill ad-valorem millage. These funds will continue to be utilized for essential operating expenses in order to preserve academic programs, retain highly qualified teachers and protect arts, athletics and student activities.
Four years ago, Orange County voters approved the original increase. With the increase, OCPS was able to retain the equivalent of 170 highly qualified teachers, continue arts programs at all schools, athletic-assistance programs and student activities, such as the after-school tutorial program and student field trips. This financial support assisted OCPS in maintaining its momentum of success. A great example of this momentum is Orange County Public School’s recent acceptance of the coveted Broad Prize for urban education. OCPS earned this prestigious award for closing achievement gaps and raising student performance across all demographics.
This one-mill ad-valorem millage is different from the half-penny sales tax renewal voters passed in August. The half-penny sales tax is used for capital improvements such as renovations to or replacement of existing schools and procurement of classroom technology. The one-mill ad-valorem millage goes solely toward operational expenses — staff and programs within the school.
The backbone of success is a well-rounded education, not only because of the great opportunities it provides our young people, but also because “A” and “B” schools increase our community and personal property values. The WOCC understands that excellent schools are an economic driver, and its board wants OCPS to maintain their momentum of success. Whether you vote by absentee ballot, early voting or in person on Nov. 4, the WOCC urges you to vote “yes” for the continued funding of the one-mill ad valorem millage.
Krista Compton Carter
West Orange Chamber of Commerce