If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a $1.7 billion school bond referendum on the ballot next month and the Guilford County commissioners would really, really like voters to support it.
One way the board has been drawing attention to school system renovation and construction needs is by conducting tours – with reporters tagging along – to highlight some of the more pressing needs in the school system.
On Wednesday, April 6, at 3 p.m., Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston and other commissioners will tour Shadybrook Elementary School at 503 Shadybrook Road in High Point.
The county officials will also meet with Shadybrook Elementary Principal Kendrick Alston to discuss the “full renovation” plans for the school – a project that’s included as part of the upcoming school bond.
In 2020 Guilford County voters approved $300 million in school bond money and the school system only recently began spending that money. At the time the Board of Commissioners approved that amount two years ago, school officials complained that it wasn’t nearly enough to meet the needs of the aging school system with 124 schools across the county.
If voters do pass the massive school bond in May, the school system plans a huge amount of renovation and construction projects over the coming decade.
The county commissioners are also conducting a public relations campaign to get voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase measure that will also be on the ballot. The same sales tax hike proposal has been voted down several times before by Guilford County voters, however many other counties in the state have voters who did vote themselves sales tax increases.
This week, Alston offered a carrot to property owners in the county by committing to a property tax decrease of about 3 cents if the sales tax passes. A quarter of a cent doesn’t sound like much of an increase. However, if implemented, that sales tax increase is estimated to raise an additional $18 million to $20 million for the commissioners to spend each year.