At 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 the Guilford County Board of Commissioners went into a closed session with officials from the Guilford County Schools to discuss the best way to spend $10 million that’s been set aside for enhancing security at a time when school shooters and other threats abound.
At the end of the one-hour closed session, the board came into open session and voted unanimously to release $600,000 of the $10 million to the schools.
That money will be used to fund a new study and take other measures meant to make students in county schools safer. The county commissioners and school officials held the meeting in closed session due to the sensitive nature of the topic. The commissioners are legally allowed to meet in closed session to discuss security concerns when a public airing of those concerns and a discussion of potential solutions could undermine the effectiveness of those solutions.
In the summer of 2018, Commissioner Justin Conrad made a motion for the county to approve raising $10 million by issuing two-thirds bonds. The county sold those bonds earlier this year but the Board of Commissioners has the right to approve the uses before turning the money over to the schools.
Two-thirds bonds are so named because, in years after the county or other local governments in North Carolina pay down General Obligation bond debt, those local governments are allowed to borrow back up to two-thirds of the amount that they paid back without having to put that new bond debt on the ballot for a referendum.
One commissioner said that, at the Oct. 3 closed session, school officials asked for the release of the total $10 million – however, the commissioners plan on releasing that money on a per-project basis as needed.