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Bond Issue Would Fund Strategic Priorities

by J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent // Gwinnett County Public Schools

Gwinnett County Public Schools is focused on two important, related issues this fall— a General Obligation (G.O.) bond referendum to benefit all schools and the update of the school district’s “Strategic Priorities for 2010–2020.” Both initiatives will have a significant impact on the future of Georgia’s largest school district.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education called for placing the bond issue on the November 6 General Election ballot. If approved, it would fund projects in “The Plan,” our long-range strategy for meeting our facility and technology needs. The Plan aligns with what our stakeholders said matters to them when we developed the district’s Strategic Priorities for 2010–2020.

Here are a few examples. The proposed technology improvements to be funded by the G.O. bonds would expand learning inside the classroom and beyond, as called for in the strategic priorities. Students would have access to technological resources in school and out, allowing them “anytime, anywhere” learning. We also would expand GCPS’ online environment to meet the needs of students and staff while promoting safe, responsible use of technology.

The strategic priority on Facilities and Operations calls for theme schools and specialized programs that offer options for learning, as well as safe, attractive, energy-efficient, and well-maintained schools and athletic facilities. Bond proceeds would fund these improvements and more.

Consistent with the strategic priority on Financial Stewardship, we commit to be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ money while providing the necessary resources to support teaching and learning. As a result, we have earned the confidence of Gwinnett’s citizens and the highest performance ratings from nationally respected financial institutions. That means the bonds issued by the School Board will sell quickly on the bond market, at interest rates favorable to the district.

In September we launched the review of the 2010–2020 Strategic Priorities to update them for the next 10 years. The year-long revision process will involve our stakeholders, whose involvement and support are critical to our ability to improve moving forward.

I encourage you to engage with us. Learn about the bond referendum and exercise your civic duty to vote in November. In addition, be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to provide input on our Strategic Priorities for 2020–2030. Help us shape the future for Gwinnett County Public Schools!