Why do we need to raise more money for building these schools? Aren’t my tax dollars paying for this already?
Yes, tax dollars from the county and the state (plus a grant from the Technical College System of Georgia) will pay for the construction of the high school and middle school. However, we are trying to upgrade this construction Beyond the Basics to add items and enhancements that state and local taxes won’t cover.
Where does the funding of construction of our new school buildings come from?
Building our new schools will be funded by three areas:
- $3.38 million grant from the Technical College System of Georgia, which can only be spent on a building and items specific to career classes (not core classes like English, Math, Science, etc.) This number is set and has been paid.
- ESPLOST funds (sales tax in Morgan County), which was approved by voters in 2016, and is a projected amount over the next several years.
- State Funds (a mix of income, property and sales taxes) This amount is given to Morgan County based on our student enrollment.
Our Morgan County Board of Education agreed to a Gross Maximum Price (GMP) for the construction of both the new high school and middle school based on projections of the ESPLOST and state funds. Once that price was set, bonds were issued to have money for construction now, and pay off as funds come in. That borrowed amount cannot be changed.
In the meantime, the economy has been strengthening, which means costs for things are rising – including construction costs. When the estimates came in from construction companies, the best estimate we received was $12 million over our GMP, so lots of cost cutting occurred.