Sarasota Republican and Democratic leaders came together Tuesday for a rare joint endorsement of a ballot measure, the extension of a 1-mill local option property tax supporting Sarasota County schools.

Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, and JoAnne DeVries, Sarasota County Democratic Party chairwoman, both endorsed the measure, which will appear before voters county-wide in a special election on March 20.

“This supplemental funding allows our students to graduate college-ready or prepared to enter the workforce and compete for good-paying jobs right here in Sarasota County,” Gruters said. “Let’s continue to invest in our children's future.”

DeVries added: “Referendum dollars enhance science and technology learning opportunities for Sarasota students so they can thrive in the 21st Century high-tech economy. These funds also allow the district to hire additional security monitors for our school campuses so our students and teachers can learn and teach in a secure environment.”