We were going to fund repairs and new construction as needed…but instead, we will borrow money. Which oddly enough, is exactly the way we’ve done this before.
State House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would file a bill to put a $1.9 billion public school bond on the ballot, addressing at least a portion of the state’s capital needs.
According to Moore’s release, $1.3 billion would go to K-12 construction needs, $300 million to the UNC system, and $300 million to North Carolina’s community colleges.
I shouldn’t complain. The repairs and expansion will probably get funded.
Lawmakers did authorize and voters approved a $2 billion bond in 2016 to fund STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) facilities on UNC campuses, but the state’s K-12 schools have long bemoaned the state of crumbling facilities in some of North Carolina’s poorer regions.
State lawmakers didn’t notice that some counties were poorer? That the funding formula creates inequality?
And if this bond measure goes through, lawmakers will wait until folks forget about the last two bonds before asking voters to fund another bond to pay for something else.
State officials told legislators nearly three years ago that the school construction tab was expected to balloon to $13 billion by 2026…
Oh, and somebody is going to point out that this will only increase taxes a very small amount. That’s like me justifying polishing off a bag of chips containing six grams of fat, saying that compared to the fat already hanging over my belt…six grams is very little.
When you borrow more than a billion dollars, it costs a lot of money. If you need to borrow more than a billion dollars for something so predictable as educational infrastructure, something is wrong.