Johnston County school leaders are beginning to lay the groundwork for another school construction bond as early as next spring.
Voters would be wise to examine the needs closely before they blindly vote for or against any kind of bonds.
The Johnston County school system is largely a closed society, so it’s unlikely voters will get much information school system leaders don’t want them to have. That means it will take some digging on the part of responsible voters to learn exactly what the needs really are and what the true cost of a bond might ultimately be.
A recent report indicated a bond could potentially pay for classroom additions at both Corinth Holders and Cleveland High Schools – two schools built intentionally small just a few years ago to prevent the creation of a megaschool.
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As Johnston County continues to grow and reap the benefits of its proximity to Wake and other urban counties, Johnston County will surely be faced with a growing student population. That means more classrooms will be needed. School leaders will have to do a lot of research to determine where the areas of highest need are. They should feel obligated to explain to the voting public what their research shows – not only about the areas where they believe new schools should be constructed.
But school leaders should also explain to voters why other parts of the county that wouldn’t benefit directly from a school bond issue should support such a measure.
Any vote on a bond issue still seems to be at least a year off and school leaders will have to convince a fiscally conservative board of county commissioners just to get the measure on a ballot. But their explanations need to reach far beyond just the county commission. They will have to make their case to the people of Johnston County, too.