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Vote Yes on SPLOST

This November, voters will have the opportunity to continue SPLOST in Gwinnett County by casting their vote in favor of SPLOST.

The recent redistricting of the Duluth and Peachtree Ridge school clusters has received a lot of attention lately, and rightly so. As we, the community of Gwinnett County, seek to make our schools the best we can for our children, it is important that we have informed and civil debate, agree to disagree, and maintain our unity by focusing on the success of our county as a whole. The county of Gwinnett has been faced with tremendous growth since the '90s. As a result, the county has had to contend with the challenges that come with the rapid growth it has seen.

One of the challenges is obtaining the funding to build the appropriate amount of schools to accommodate the children in the county. In addition to property taxes, Gwinnett County receives funding monies from SPLOST. Georgia law allows local jurisdictions to use sales tax proceeds as funding for capital improvement projects that would otherwise be paid for with general fund and property-tax revenues. This sales-tax revenue is authorized by Georgia law as a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

SPLOST III went into effect July 1, 2007, and will last through June 30, 2012. Due to Gwinnett County Public Schools continued enrollment growth and the projected continuation of that growth for the foreseeable future, new schools and other capital improvements for the additional students are an ongoing, pressing need. SPLOST III is projected to generate, at best, $1.1 billion – enough funding to cover 40 to 50 percent of the known classroom and capital needs. The Gwinnett County Board of Education is expected to ask voters to continue the school SPLOST in November.

Sean Murphy, Duluth resident and business owner stated: “For companies like NCR that have moved to Gwinnett and created thousands of jobs, one major criteria is the strength of the local school system. With GCPS recently winning the Broad prize, Gwinnett is well positioned to keep recruiting new employers to the county. The SPLOST vote this November will be key to keeping the education in Gwinnett world class and give our county the edge in bringing high paying jobs here. I really hope that all clusters in Gwinnett can unite and work together to make sure our kids have the resources available to get a true 21st century education."

So while we have healthy debate about how our Board of Education handles the challenges of rapid growth, let us agree that our main goal is to have a thriving local economy that provides outstanding education to our children who will then have a desire to come back to Gwinnett County and build their lives here. As a county, Gwinnett has much to offer. We must remember this as we work together to build a community that sets us apart from our neighboring counties. SPLOST is one way we achieve our educational goals, so vote yes in November to continue SPLOST.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Annette Rogers May 08, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Where can I find details about the proposed E-SPLOST? What will be the term of the 2012 SPLOST? I consider myself an educated voter and I've really been looking in to where past SPLOST dollars have gone. Because of serious past and current accusations, including the "IBM Deals" and "Land Deals", I do not feel GCPS has earned another term of spending with no oversight. I feel it should be at most a term of 2 years and that an annual external audit of all GCPS finances should be required.
Jennifer Falk May 09, 2011 at 11:19 AM
Tell me, what do you know about IE2 ? what do you know about the counties transfer policy ? What do you know about Title I ? What do you know about alternative schools or psycho ed centers being filled to capacity without any meaningful oversight ? what do you know about student assignment plans ? What do you know about land deals ? Know too much - No SPLOST, No thank you.
Oprah Herself May 12, 2011 at 04:43 PM
What about redline in this school?
Amanda Helmstetter October 15, 2011 at 12:21 PM
I completely disagree! Don't vote "YES" for the E-SPLOST because the talking heads at the school board office tell you they need the money. The E-SPLOST has NOTHING to do with the quality of the education in Gwinnett County. The SPLOST is NOT the reason Gwinnett County won the Broad Foundation scholarship. The SLOST is used to purchase land (at way too high of a price) for schools that we don't need -- because the GCPS doesn't manage their assets correctly. I for one, don't want to give them one more penny that they can misallocate. Don't be fooled that an E-SPLOST is buying better education -- its not -- its building the biggest, prettiest, fanciest Cloak for the Emperor that YOUR money can buy.
L.Vlad October 15, 2011 at 02:23 PM
SPLOST is NOT a way we achieve our educational goals when the goals don't foster wise decisions. Why are we planning on renovating middle and high school with air conditioning systems that will increase the ongoing operating cost tens of thousands of dollars per school each year. How many teachers can't we hire or keep in order to keep the gyms cool all the time? And why are we planning on getting a bond and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars in interest so we can spend the pennies before they are collected? This is not good stewardship. We need to vote NO and send a message to the school board. I'm sure they will have another ballot again, but maybe by then they will take the citizens of Gwinnett county seriously.

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