Over the last three years, voters in Guilford County have approved $2 billion in school bond money, and, on Thursday, Jan. 18, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to pass a motion that will allow county finance staff to raise $180 million of those funds for school construction and repair.
In June 2020, the board approved putting a $300 million school bond referendum on the ballot, and the majority of Guilford County voters said yes please, we want it.
The portion of those school bonds – issued in September of 2021 – was for $120 million. This week’s move will close out the money from that 2020 bond referendum. Once the schools spend the new $180 million on projects, it can dig into the $1.7 billion in school bond money that voters approved in May of 2022.
This second portion of the school bonds approved in 2020 – bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the county – will be designated “General Obligation School Bonds, Series 2024”.
The North Carolina Local Government Commission – a state body that oversees the financial health of counties in North Carolina – requires that the Board of Commissioners adopt a resolution authorizing the issuance of the General Obligation Bonds before the county raises the money and gives it to the school system.
Once the bonds are issued on the market and the money is available, the Guilford County Board of Education will come to the county commissioners with a list of proposals for school construction and improvement projects, which the commissioners must sign off on before handing over the money.
In past years, that has sometimes been a contentious discussion. However, the current board of commissioners – which includes two former school board members, a public school teacher and a school volunteer – tends to give the schools whatever they want with few questions.