The way that voters answer one of the state amendment questions on the general election ballot this year could have a significant effect on the way school districts in Carroll County divide up collected E-SPLOST dollars in the future. More yes votes at the polls for amendment number five would result in school districts with a majority of enrolled students within a county example: the Carroll County district to be able to call for a referendum to levy a sales tax for education purposes when they wish or need. They would also not require a funding-percentage-agreement in place from the other school districts. The amendment essentially takes away a majority of the negotiating power for smaller districts on how much they should receive. Look at Bremen District who does have a small stake in Carroll County.
It would most likely result in collected funding being shared throughout the schools based on student population.
Bremen City Schools has been able to negotiate for a bigger chunk of that funding in the past according to Superintendent David Hicks. But that could change, if this amendment is approved by voters statewide.
The intent is that the largest school system could call for the vote with or without the consent of other school systems that are smaller. So in our case Carroll County Schools could call for the vote without Bremen City Schools consent or Carrollton City Schools consent, said Hicks. Then you would assume that it would defer to the FTE being calculated.
Bremen Schools receive approximately 4% of collected E-SPLOST in Carroll County in the current cycle set to end in 2022. Hicks estimated that basing collections on student population, Bremen Schools could receive approximately one-third of that number from Carroll County collections in future cycles.
Meanwhile, Carrollton City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Mark Albertus said he sees approval of the amendment as a benefit to his district. He said that he has long believed that E-SPLOST funding should be divided-up based on student population.
We support E-SPLOST in general. This has been such an improvement overall with public education and helping us maintain schools. As far as amendment five in specific to Carroll County, Carrollton City Schools and Bremen City Schools, it is going to be our E-SPLOST because it is a great program to keep the facilities up to the standards that the communities in west Georgia have come to expect, said Albertus.
The funding that Bremen currently receives from the Haralson County E-SPLOST is based on their student population in Haralson county, whereas they currently negotiate the figure in Carroll.