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IN OPPOSITION Many public school officials and school board members say taxpayer dollars should stay with public schools, such as Bay Haven School for Basics Plus in Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel SCHOOL BOARD VOTES AGAINST AMENDMENT 8'S PROPOSAL TO FUNNEL PUBLIC MONEY TO RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer The Sarasota County School Board voted 5-0 during its regular meeting Oct. 2 to join the majority of Florida school boards in opposing Amendment 8, which is coming up for public vote next month. The Nov. 6 general election ballot is chock- full of potential amendments to the state con- stitution. Amendment 8 is one that involves politics, money and religion — almost all the things people are not supposed to discuss in polite dinner table conversation. And yet this amendment is likely to get a good bit of de- bate — maybe before dinner. Amendment 8, also called the Florida Reli- gious Freedom Amendment, reads as follows: Proposing an amendment to the State Consti- tution providing that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious iden- tity or belief, governmental benefits, funding, or other support, except as required by the First Amendment of the United States Con- stitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury di- rectly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sec- tarian institution. School boards are already suffering financial stress as a result of a number of factors, not the least being decisions of the Florida Legis- lature that have decreased funding by more

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