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District taking applications for citizens' oversight committee

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half cent Alachua County Public Schools is now taking applications for two at-large seats on a committee that will review all expenditures from money raised by the Half-Cent for Schools sales tax. The district will begin receiving revenue from the Half-Cent in March.

Ballot language approved by Alachua County voters in November of 2018 requires the establishment of a citizens’ oversight committee for the Half-Cent. It would be very similar to the one that has been in place since 2009 to review the spending of revenues from the One Mill for Schools, which was approved by voters in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The School Capital Outlay Surtax Oversight Committee will be made up of 12 members. Each of the five School Board members would select one member, as would the Superintendent of Schools. Four members would be chosen to represent parents, employees and other groups that were active in the Half-Cent for Schools initiative, including the Alachua County Council of PTAs, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alachua County Education Association and Citizens for Strong Schools.

Two additional members will be chosen from among local citizens who apply for the at-large seats. The terms for those seats will be two years, and those serving will be expected to attend two to four meetings each year.

Financial management, construction or other relevant experience is preferred. Neither school board employees nor those with any financial dealings with the district would be eligible for membership on the committee.

The deadline to apply is February 15. The School Board will vote on the at-large members at the March 5 business meeting. The first meeting will likely be held in April.

More information about the oversight committee, including the application for the two at-large seats, is available on the district’s website at: http://bit.ly/2sHOvCa

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