Big decisions are unfolding about our schools and what we as a community will invest in our school facilities. A Guilford County Schools (GCS) Facility Master Plan, commissioned jointly by the Guilford County Board of Education and the County Commissioners, calls for an investment of $2B in our schools over 10-15 years.
Who Has Responsibility for What?
In simple terms, the Guilford County Board of Education and the Superintendent and her team are responsible for planning, managing and overseeing any construction of new schools. Guilford County Commissioners and their staff are responsible for financing the maintenance of current buildings and construction of new facilities. Board of Education members and County Commissioners have been cooperatively working together on both fronts through a Joint Committee.
What is the Process for Requesting Funds?
The Board of Education will prioritize projects and make an official request to the County Commissioners for a bond amount to fund those projects. The Commissioners will decide whether to put a bond initiative on the ballot and for what amount. Voters will then act in November 2020 to give Commissioners the authority to issue any bonds. A vote to approve the bond does not require the commissioners to issue bonds. It does give them the authority to do so. Ultimately, Commissioners will decide whether to issue bonds, over what time period and for what projects based on recommendations from the Board of Education.
Commissioners and the joint committee are reviewing various financing scenarios – total amounts from $700M – $1.5B – and the kinds of tax revenues that would pay for a bond.
This plan will determine the future of our county. It’s important for us all to be knowledgeable about the plan and the possible scenarios to fund it.
Links to Crucial Information
School Bond Referendum Discussion Materials– see pages 3 and 4 for more information on the different scenarios for bonds.
Bond Referendum Schedule – key dates and the process are outlined on pages 3 and 4.
Dr. Contreras’s Testimony before Congress, 2/12/19 – Dr. Contreras was the only superintendent to testify before the Committee on Education and Labor. She spoke about the lack of funding for school facilities.