Marriott: 'One big school system'

Published 12:27 am Monday, May 7, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
"A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."
The author of this verse is unknown, but Deborah Marriott, principal at Brewton Elementary School believes they are words to live by. Marriott is doing her best to be important in the life of children who attend her school and those in the surrounding community. When it comes to renewing an existing 1-mill county tax, all students – in county and city school -will benefit. Also up for a vote on June 5 will be the renewal of a 3-mill district school tax that has already passed for the city school system.
"We are all part of one big school system in a lot of ways," Marriott said. "I want to see this renewal as much for the county schools as for our system. We will certainly feel the loss of the $70,000 our school stands to lose, but it would be devastating for the county system to lose the money they stand to lose if the renewal of their district tax is not approved."
The Escambia County School System stands to lose about $600,000 in funding if the tax renewal is not approved next month.
"There are people in Brewton that don't have children in either system that may not see the importance of renewing the tax," Marriott said. "There are others who have moved to the Brewton area that may not know how important this truly is. What I hope people will understand is that they are the public and they are going to be impacted by the quality of education our systems are able to provide to the future generations of this community."
Marriott said her school has some programs in place that may be in jeopardy, should the 1-mill countywide tax fail to be renewed.
"Our enrichment program does not receive funds from the State," Marriott said. " Classes like art and music would be some of the things we would miss if the tax renewal is not approved."
Marriott said she hopes that voters will consider the actions of our forefathers and continue their dream for an educational opportunity for everyone.
"Because this is an old tax and not something new, I hope that people will continue to see how important it is for education," Marriott said. "We have a good education system in this area, but like everything else, it takes money to keep it going well."
Brewton Elementary School was built in the mid-1970s and Marriott believes continued maintenance on the facility could see some shortfalls in funds if the renewal is not approved.
"Our school is 30 years old," Marriott said. "It requires constant maintenance. It is a never-ending job. Those funds help to maintain the school. With 500 children coming through this school every year, there is certainly some wear and tear that has to be taken care of with those funds."
Lynn Smith, superintendent for Brewton City Schools, is a good steward of money allocated to the system, Marriott said.
"Mr. Smith's very supportive of what our school needs are," Marriott said. "He is a good steward of the money that we receive. Our school faculty and staff are also very good stewards of the money we receive to benefit our students."
Marriott said the importance of the tax renewal could not be more obvious since the tax has been around for so many years.
"If our forefathers saw the need for this tax and felt education was so important that they should fund it, then we should as well," Marriott said.
"Here we are, the most educated people in the world and it makes you wonder if we have lost our perspective on what is important. The tax renewal is very important for students and for the community."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox