Vote YES for Our Children!
May 17 – Mark your calendar and show up to vote for our children! They need us. They need us to Vote YES and YES for the $1.7 billion school bond and a fraction of a penny sales tax – both opportunities will appear at the bottom of the primary ballot.
Together we said YES in 2020 and approved a $300 million school bond to fill the $2 billion gap required to meet the critical needs identified in the GCS Master Facilities Plan.
Now, we get the opportunity to extend that support with a YES vote to make Guilford County Schools SMART (Safe, Modern, Accessible, Renovated and Tech-Ready): Vote YES for the school bond and YES to the sales tax to help repay the bond.
As studies show, people with fewer years of education have poorer health and shorter lives. So why is that correlation so strong? Education paves a clear path to the careers of tomorrow and steady income. Completing more years of education creates better access to health insurance, medical care, and the resources to live a healthier lifestyle. And creating a healthy and welcoming physical environment is an essential first step to educational attainment.
Cone Health Foundation has joined other local businesses, individuals, and foundations to fund a campaign aimed at informing voters about our schools’ needs. An independent, comprehensive study of Guilford County Schools found that nearly half of GCS buildings are either in poor or unsatisfactory condition with leaking roofs, failing HVAC systems, outdated plumbing and a host of other problems associated with buildings with an average age of 55 years old. Money from the bond will be used to fix those issues, as well as upgrade technology, make schools safer and expand Career and Technical Education programs. Every public school in Guilford County will benefit from the bond in some way.
The student body served by Guilford County Schools is 71% students of color, with 120 languages spoken and a 62% student poverty rate. Even though our children and teachers navigated classrooms that are too hot, too cold, overcrowded, dust-filled or poorly ventilated, the class of 2021 earned $174 million in scholarships. Imagine what our children can do in modern and accessible spaces that offer technology integrated into the classroom.
None of us know what types of jobs will be around when the class of 2072 joins the workforce, but we know students will need strong technology skills to be successful in whatever job or career they may choose.
“Our schools are anchor institutions in their communities. They also serve as cornerstones of democracy, providing opportunities for students of all backgrounds and walks of life. For our community to continue to flourish and maintain prosperity, there must be top-quality public education. SMART buildings are foundational to student success,” said Susan Shumaker, Cone Health Foundation President.