Tomorrow, Atlanta residents will head to the polls and vote on renewal of the Education-Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (E-SPLOST), which funds capital projects across our school system.
Before anything else, I want to say thank you to Atlanta’s residents. Your vote on E-SPLOST five years ago has led to incredible investments in our communities and for our students. Look around the district, and you will see evidence of significant construction and renovation projects in every single APS cluster including underserved communities that need them the most. Within the last few years, the district has completed:
- Brand new schools for Bunche and Sylvan Hills middle schools and E. Rivers Elementary School
- Renovations at Brown and King middle schools and Beecher, Boyd, Fain, Kimberly and Lin elementary schools
- Additions at Long and Young middle schools and Brandon and Springdale Park elementary schools
What you may not have seen is that your tax dollars also led to the construction of 11 new playgrounds for elementary schools that didn’t have one, the purchase of new computers and interactive boards for our classrooms and repairs of critical HVAC systems at 18 schools that had been broken for years.
Tomorrow, voters will consider renewing their investment in our students. That investment could yield as much as $546 million over five years, and would help ensure our students have access to quality learning environments that meet their academic needs by ensuring infrastructure is aligned to new cluster signature program designs and students are not learning in overcrowded or unsafe schools.
The district has renovation plans that are already in the works, including a refurbishment of the historic Howard Building in the Old Fourth Ward into a middle school for the Grady Cluster, the transformation of the Kennedy Building in Vine City into the new Pre-K through Grade 8 Hollis Innovation Academy for Atlanta’s Westside.
In addition to renovations and repairs at dozens of schools across the city, the plan includes field houses and artificial turf at our high schools, replacement of our school bus fleet, improvements in our safety and security systems, and investments in our technology systems. Every community would benefit from this renewed E-SPLOST.
And all of this work comes without raising taxes.
So thank you, Atlanta. You have blessed this district, and I am profoundly grateful for what that has meant for our students and educators.
Please vote tomorrow!