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Panhandle school district using half-cent sales tax to help close digital divide

Washington School Board Laptop Photo.jpg
Washington County Schools
Washington County Schools is buying these laptops with its half-cent sales tax revenues.

One rural Panhandle school district is using its half-cent sales tax dollars to help close the digital divide.

The Washington County School Board has been using the extra revenue to buy laptops for students and teachers, who will have access to more than a thousand of the devices in the 2022-2023 school year.

According to a press release, students will have access to 900 laptops and teachers will have access to 150.

The district recently approved spending half a million dollars on more devices.

So far, the district has received $4.3 million from the half-cent sales tax, which voters approved in 2018.

In a statement, Superintendent Joseph Taylor praised the additional revenues:

"With these funds, the district has been able to make technology purchases that put our students on a more level playing field with larger districts in the area and will continue to provide great opportunities in the coming years."

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.