By Special to the Daily World
Through a resolution authored by Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and Commissioner Liz Hausmann, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted recently in their recess meeting to support the E-SPLOST referendum for Fulton and Atlanta Public Schools.
The school systems have called for a referendum for citizens to consider the continuation of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST IV). SPLOST has funded capital needs in the Fulton County School System since 1997. Previous SPLOST programs have funded 37 new schools, 28 school additions and multiple projects such as roof replacement, HVAC renovations, floor covering replacements, surveillance camera installations and playfield enhancements.
Fulton County and Atlanta Public Schools have proposed that SPLOST IV include a significant portion that will be dedicated to school level and system wide enhancement of technology. The SPLOST IV will go beyond capital improvements by funding new computers for students and teachers, distance learning in all high schools and high speed networks and Internet access. Other technology items will be incorporated to enhance student learning and provide teachers with the resources for the 21st century classroom.
Whereas past SPLOSTS have focused on new construction, SPLOST IV differs somewhat in that it will focus on renewal of existing classrooms which will include renovations, renewal, and replacement making up approximately 71percent of the proposed construction budget.
This SPLOST involves protecting the life cycle of existing buildings to ensure a safe and productive learning environment. Moreover, SPLOST reduces debt from previous bonds, purchases furniture and equipment and replaces school buses.
“As a parent of Fulton County students and as a commissioner, I am proud to have initiated this resolution along with my colleague Commissioner Hausmann,” said Eaves. “I can think of no greater investment we can make for the future of this county than when we invest in the education of our children.”
The vote by the commissioners to support SPLOST for the schools was on Sept. 21.
According to reports Atlanta Public Schools have met all six criteria for getting off of probation by the Southern Association For Colleges and Schools. SACS will vote on the matter later this fall.
A special election to fill the District 2 School Board seat will be held Nov. 8. The seat became vacant when former chair Khaatim El sresigned to take a job outside the state. There are six candidates vying for the job.