Lee County schools sharing upgrades made using half-cent sales tax revenue

Published: November 10, 2021 3:26 PM EST
Updated: November 10, 2021 6:14 PM EST

It has been three years since the half-cent sales tax supporting Lee County schools was approved by Lee County voters. Now we are learning how the school district is spending that tax money.

In a high-tech world, Lee County students need high-tech learning.

That’s why every classroom at Caloosa Elementary has new Promethean displays. Promethean says the interactive screens are designed to ’empower educators.’

The screens can be written on, play videos, and can even be used as a whiteboard to work out a math problem.

While they are helpful for teachers, they are also designed to help students.

Ashley Lamar, the Caloosa Elementary School principal said, “they are much more focused on the lesson, much more engaged in class, and I will say on a positive note, when students are engaged, they are not misbehaving.”

In addition to the new displays, schools in Lee County now have more security cameras.

“The clarity is much better, the ability to zoom in is better, and recording and playback have all been enhanced,” said Lamar.

Fort Myers High School needed to cool off the classrooms, so it chose to spend some of the tax revenue on a new air-conditioning system.

Fort Myers High School Principal Robert Butz said, “you don’t get excited about air conditioning, what it is, is if you don’t notice it, then it’s a good thing.”

At Edgewood Academy, there is new paint, new floors in the cafeteria, new tables and new lighting.

Edgewood Academy Principal Angela Nader said the upgrades are a source of pride. “Teachers have new desks where they can sit at, and they have chairs that are not falling apart whenever they’re sitting in them. It was really a win-win for both the staff and the students.”

Lee County schools say these improvements will prepare students for the ever-changing world.

The half-cent sales tax in Lee County went into effect in 2019. Since then, the school district has taken in more than $228,000,000.

This year, Lee County schools plan to spend $87,000,000 on projects similar to those completed at the schools named in this article.