The Guilford County Board of Commissioners – like many, boards, commissions and city councils – habitually rubber stamps a lot of things.
However, one thing the Guilford County Board of Commissioners almost never rubber stamps are requests brought by the Guilford County Board of Education. So, it could be an interesting discussion on Thursday evening, April 15, when the Guilford County commissioners hear the proposed spending plan for $300 million in school bond money that voters approved in the November election.
On April 15, the Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hear the Guilford County Board of Education’s request for 11 projects totaling $300 million, and, if agreeable, the commissioners will vote on the creation of the project ordinances in the amounts requested by the school board.
The county commissioners know that the school board is the board that handles school matters, however, angry parents – or just parents with a lot to say – often call commissioners with their concerns, so the county commissioners traditionally pay close attention to what the school board is doing.
The school board voted on Tuesday, March 9 to make the requests to the county. The list includes just over $10 million for land acquisition $290 million for projects at 10 area schools that the school board has deemed priorities.
In mid-2020, school officials wanted to see a much larger amount place on the ballot. They were asking for well over $1 billion and hoping for at least $750 million in the school bond referendum.
In the end, a Republican-majority Board of Commissioners concerned about COVID-19 expenses voted to place a $300 million school bond on the ballot. Many school advocates believe that “low” amount cost the Republicans the majority on the board, which now includes a school teacher – and which is run by a Democratic majority and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston.