Calhoun County Superintendent of Schools Ralph Yoder announced Monday that the Calhoun County School Board (CCSB) has approved action to begin the process of requesting funds from the State of Florida to construct a new school in Altha.
The school board approved the measure during the regularly scheduled school board meeting on February 14. The action comes on the heels of the approval of the recommendation set forth in the Florida Department of Education Office (FDOE) of Educational Facilities five-year facility survey.
While the request will not require any additional taxation above what is currently levied by the CCSB, it will require a local contribution to the effort. As an example, less than 11% of the cost of the recently completed Blountstown High School was shouldered by Calhoun County. The balance was provided through the FDOE Office of Educational Facilities.
The CCSB sees this as a necessary investment into the future of the Calhoun County school system, as well as for current and future students of Altha Public School. It is the responsibility of the school board to provide a safe, productive learning environment for all students that offers up-to-date technology. This action will begin a process to construct a new facility on the Altha campus that will facilitate the education of the leaders of tomorrow.
Superintendent Ralph Yoder stated, “I was elected on providing principled leadership from this generation to the next. This action upholds my commitment. The construction of a new school will replace an aging facility and allow many of our students to move from eleven portable classrooms. We will work closely with our legislative delegation to ensure they know how critical this investment is to the Calhoun County school system. Responsible leadership not only takes care of today, it also prepares for tomorrow.”
Kenneth Speights, chairman of the school board stated, "We know that the teachers and staff are what makes the difference in the lives of our students' future and while buildings don't make a school, we know that the need for updated facilities are critical for a productive learning environment for our students."
Kelly King, whose district includes Altha stated, “I am honored to have made the motion to begin the process of requesting special facility funds for a new Altha school. I look forward to working with the staff of the Calhoun County School Board and elected officials in meeting the critical needs of our school system.”
In Governor Scott's most recent budget proposal, funding was included for the construction of two public schools, one in Dixie County and one in Glades County. The steps taken by the Calhoun County School Board will allow for the necessary application process for Calhoun County schools to be considered in the 2014 Legislative General Appropriations Act.