RALLY FOR EDUCATION - Mitch Perry

10/04/04

Rallies demanding increased funding for public education were held across the country on Saturday

In Tampa's Seminole Heights district, Hillsborough County Commission candidates Bob Buckhorn and Denise Layne joined members from the School District and Teachers Union to discuss the necessity of increasing impact fees to fund vital programs that advocates say are being neglected, hurting the country's future.

Over the past decade, growth in Hillsborough County has been meteoric. But the impact fees that are used to construct new roads and schools needed by their development hasn't kept pace with that development. Impact fees have NOT been raised in the County since 1987- and Democrat Bob Buckhorn, in a tight race against Brian Blair for a Countywide seat on the Hillsborough County Commission, says for the betterment of the County's schools, those fees need to rise.(roll tape#1 O.Q. "that don’t have a voice�)

Democrat Denise Layne is running against Republican Mark Sharpe and independent Joe Redner in Countywide District 7 seat....She argued that funding priorities have been misallocated over the years (roll tape#2 o.q. “it’s escalating idolness�)

And Layne, a former Republican perhaps best known for her work with the Sierra Club, criticized where public education has gone in the Jeb Bush era in Florida (roll tape#3 o.q. how perfect we can be" )

Jean Clemmons is the President of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association....She says the simple answer to a lot of the ills plaguing the schools is more funding (roll tape#4 o.q.�into those schools�-)

Dorthea Edgecomb is a newly elected member of the Hillsborough County School District. She says that in order for children to get the best opportunities in the publc schools, parents must step up their responsibilities(roll tape#5 o.q." )

Saturday’s event was organized by the community activist group ACORN…And the organizer was 21 year old Ellen Roggemann , a student at Occidental College in Southern California taking the semester off to work for ACORN for the election…She discussed why she is so committed towards doing what she can before this year’s Presidential Election (roll tape#6 o.q. “ whichever way I could�)

After the Rally, members of ACORN then fanned out through the neighborhood, intent on registering voters before tonight’s deadline.

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