Could the 2014 Education Bond Referendum be at risk? A look at 2016 county commissioner candidates has us concerned.
Last night, five Republican candidates for Iredell County Commission gathered for a forum at the Old Courthouse in Statesville, and what some of the candidates had to say about the 2014 Education Bond Referendum left us deeply concerned.
“A huge mistake,” said candidate Scottie Brown, according to Amy Fuhrman’s recap on SVLFreeNews.com. “Irresponsible spending,” was how candidate T.J. Johnson put it.
Scottie Brown and T.J. Johnson were joined at the forum by candidates Jeff McNeely and Travis Elliott, and by incumbent Tommy Bowles. The forum was moderated by Bob Amon.
The topic of school funding came up several times, and all five participants said they would not grant voters the opportunity to approve another bond for public education in the near future–even if there were clear needs demonstrated by school officials.
The candidates each felt school spending was adequate already, indicating there would be little appetite for any budget increase requests from Iredell-Statesville or Mooresville Graded Schools. “I actually think we’re throwing too much money into parts of the schools,” Brown continued, “and teachers aren’t getting what they need.”
Republican candidates Ronda Hoke, Gene Houpe, and Chad Gallyon were unable to attend the forum.
Are school bonds in danger? Could the County Commissioners overturn the 2014 vote?
That’s the $131 million question. With the successful passage of the November 2014 Education Bond referendum, Iredell County Commissioners were enabled to borrow money to fund construction projects across I-SS, MGSD, and Mitchell Community College. The bond referendum was a permission slip of sorts–but not a mandate that the county borrow the money to build the schools.
We can assume, then, that if the Iredell County Commissioners decide not to issue bonds and build schools, there’s no one who can stop them.
In 2014, Our Schools First led the way in championing the passage of the Education Bond Referendum–and we’re prepared to make sure the public of Iredell County understands what is at stake in the 2016 election cycle. Count on us to keep you informed about the real champions of public education.
Be sure to sign up for our email list below–and also follow us on social media.