Dick In The News

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Change4Kids gearing up for half-penny sales tax vote in August

This article first appeared in the Orlando Sentinel. View original here
17 Jul

With less than six weeks left before Orange County voters decide whether to extend a half-penny sales tax for school construction, it's go time for supporters.

Change4Kids, the group pushing for the sales-tax renewal, will be meeting at 8 a.m. tomorrow in Tower 1 of the CNL Finanical Group building at 450 S. Orange Ave. to discuss the campaign.

Consultant Dick Batchelor, who has been spearheading the effort as its chair, said Change4Kids has reached its fundraising goal of $350,000 with donations from Florida Hospital, the construction industry and the tourism industry.

That money will be used to fund an advertising campaign that will begin in earnest in early August. Orange County voters will go to the polls Aug. 26 to vote on renewing the tax, which will pay for the renovation or replacement of 94 schools.

If renewed, the tax would fund renovations at 59 schools that were either on the original sales tax list passed in 2002 or have grown to need work in the past 12 years.

School Board Chairman Bill Sublette, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins and Chief Facilities Officer John Morris will provide campaign updates at the meeting.

Batchelor said that the current efforts have improved on the 2002 sales tax campaign by seeking and securing broad-based support, with particular outreach to Hispanic and African-American voters.

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