By Sylvia Gurinsky
In 1992, as South Florida staggered after Hurricane Andrew, Dade County voters went to the polls and approved a half-penny increase in the sales tax to support Miami-Dade Community College. It was a successful initiative for the school.
On Nov. 4, Florida voters have a chance to allow its community colleges and the communities they serve to do the same thing. Amendment 8 would allow counties to place ballot measures that would let voters decide sales tax initiatives to support colleges for five years, when the provisions would sunset, unless voters approve them again.
This is a win-win situation for Florida and its community colleges, whose influence has increased with the state's population, but whose funding support from the Florida Legislature is usually arbitrary. Eduardo Padron, the president of what is now known as Miami-Dade College, advocated the placement of this measure on the ballot.
Given the current bad economy, the importance of Florida's public colleges will increase even more. Voters should prepare for that by saying Yes to Amendment 8.