The Joint Capital /Facilities Committee – a combined body of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and the Guilford County Board of Education – has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m.
The two boards should have a whole lot to talk about.
In the last four years, Guilford County voters have approved a whopping $2 billion in school bond referendum money, and the schools get to use all that money for school construction and repairs in the coming years.
However, the Guilford County commissioners still hold the purse strings – that is, before one dime of the money can be spent on a school project, the Board of Commissioners must agree to it.
In 2020, county voters approved a $300-million school bond referendum, and two years later, county voters added $1.7 billion to the treasure trove of money the schools can use.
At the Thursday, Jan. 18 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, county staff announced that the schools had committed or spent the first $120 million of the $300 million bond, and the county was now moving forward to issue the remaining $180 million in bonds from that 2020 referendum.
So, now the commissioners and school board must come to a meeting of the minds as to the best ways to spend that money.
Over the years, the county commissioners have, for the most part, deferred to the school board as to how to handle school matters. However, the new Board of Commissioners has a lot of commissioners who know a whole lot about Guilford County Schools. The Board of Commissioners now includes two former school board members, a current teacher, and a highly active school system volunteer. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston constantly takes a great deal of interest in school affairs, and three years ago, led weekly tours of county schools to ascertain the system’s needs.
The meeting, which should be interesting, will be held in the Board Room of the Guilford County Schools’ administrative offices at 712 N. Eugene St. in Greensboro.