The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is being asked to approve a special type of bond that would be used to help fund Revolution Academy – a new charter school that in 2019 got state approval to open and is now seeking the approval of the commissioners for $19 million in “Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds.”
Unlike bonds issued by the county, the board’s approval of these new revenue bonds doesn’t financially obligate Guilford County in any way. However, one of the criteria for this type of loan being approved is that local boards of commissioners must sign off on the project. In the past, the Guilford County commissioners have been quick to approve Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds since the loan is paid back by the recipient – and the county and its taxpayers face no liability.
Charter schools in North Carolina are public schools that are allowed various freedoms in terms of governance, finance, programming and personnel hiring. Though they have more leeway than traditional schools, they face accountability checks and are overseen by the state’s Office of Charter Schools.
Revolution Academy, which will operate a non-profit school in northwest Guilford County at 3718 Oak Ridge Road in Summerfield, has a mission statement that calls for developing “productive citizens who are prepared for a lifetime of achievement by using a challenging, classical academic program, meaningful parental partnerships, character education, and an emphasis on student responsibility.”
Guilford County’s public hearing on the revenue bonds will be held at the Thursday, Jan 16 Board of Commissioners meeting in the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro. The notice for that hearing states: “The bonds shall not constitute an obligation of the State of North Carolina, Guilford County, North Carolina or the Town of Summerfield, North Carolina, or any political subdivision thereof.”