Guilford County Schools has just under $2 billion burning a hole in its pockets and, on Monday, Oct. 23, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and Guilford County Board of Education will get together for a rare joint meeting and discuss the best way to spend that money – as well as how fast the money needs to be raised by issuing General Obligation bonds.
The Guilford County Joint Capital/Facilities Committee is scheduled for a special meeting for October 23 at 3 p.m. in the large third-floor conference room of the county-owned Truist Bank building at 201 W. Market St. in Greensboro.
That’s the same room where, on Thursday, Oct. 19, the Guilford County commissioners discussed possible timelines for issuing bonds to raise some of that giant sea of money the schools are now entitled to thanks to county voters.
County commissioners and county staff expressed a need to raise the money in a judicious manner, especially in this interest rate environment where long term yields can exceed 5 percent. Guilford County government doesn’t want to start paying interest on the bonds until it is necessary.
In the past, school board members have asked the county to raise a lot of money very fast and, at times, have wanted the commissioners to warehouse money for the schools. However, school boards of recent years have been more reasonable in this regard.
The official stated purpose of the special Monday meeting is “to receive an update on the bond program, review the bond program dashboard, receive an update on the school capital funding plan, and conduct any other necessary business.”
Whenever the Board of Commissioners and the school board meet, the conversation almost always turns to issues broader than the stated purpose. This is especially true now that so many members of the Board of Commissioners are die-hard school funding advocates with a big interest in things like school safety and student performance. The current Board of Commissioners features two former school board members, a teacher, a Guilford Education Alliance leader, a chairman who says the schools need a whole lot more than $2 billion, and a brand new commissioner who stated last week that funding schools well is one of his top priorities.
In recent years the two boards have been so simpatico that it often appears as though they should just get a room (other than a meeting room).
On Monday, the meeting room will be open to the public – and everyone with a smartphone or a computer and internet access will also be able to watch via Zoom at https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1605866052.
The meeting will also be livestreamed on Guilford County’s Facebook page.
There’s even a way to listen in by telephone. You can contact Deputy Clerk Ariane Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to use that method – or if you have any questions regarding the committee meeting.
Copies of the work session agenda will be available for review prior to the meeting’s start at https://guilford.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.