FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Now that the current Forsyth County Schools bond referendum is almost complete, voters will take to the polls again this time next year for the next set of projects.
The Forsyth County Board of Education heard the timeline May 9 for the 2019-22 bond.
Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo said the current referendum extends to 2018 and the building of the county’s next high school, Denmark High School, is the last project.
The next bond will include things such as maintenance, transportation and technology, and may have new construction but that won’t be determined for a few months.
A district committee was formed recently to determine the capital improvement projects for the 2018 bond. Feedback collected from the Strategic Planning survey, which yielded more than 7,000 responses, and the 150 people in the focus group is being used.
The focus group consisted of district leaders, parents, community members and business leaders. A second meeting was held with approximately 30 students.
Participants were asked whether the district is doing well in areas such as curriculum, support services and special education. The forum also solicited ideas for improvements, such as electives, instruction resources and counseling support.
Information from the school and district administrators were also taken into account as part of the State Facilities Planning process, Caracciolo said. Additionally, enrollment number projections were also used.
In December, the draft list will be reviewed with regard to the impacted departments and principals, and then approved by the committee.
On December 19, the final list will be presented to the board, which will then consider it as part of its annual retreat. The list is expected to be finalized by a board vote in January 2018.
Soon after, the district will begin its communication plan to alert the public of the list and the impending vote, which is scheduled for May 22, 2018.
Chairwoman Kristin Morrissey said she was worried the timeline does not provide the list in enough time to tap into another source of funding – the state of Georgia. The state plan drives the local/bond plan. The district has been working on the state funding plan since last fall. It will be finished in August and approved in December.
The large projects identified in the state plan won’t be fully funded by the state, so they will carry over to the bond for local funding. Since the district will know that in August, they can fit it into the local plan, when a draft is due in December.
Once the state plan is approved in December 2017, it will go to the General Assembly in spring 2018. The local/bond timeline aligns nicely with this, Caracciolo said, because if approved in May, they will have local funding that fall after they receive the state funding in the summer.