On May 24, voters approved E-SPLOST, a sales tax renewal that will pay for much needed renovations of our schools, technology, buses, athletic facilities and important school security enhancements. Our district has been through a lot since the local option sales tax was last approved in 2011, so tonight’s win is a major accomplishment—one that APS could not have achieved on its own. It’s a victory not only for our kids but for our community. Atlanta voters’ show of faith in this district is yet another sign that we are continuing our transformation of APS with confidence, purpose and support.
So, to those of you who reinvested in Atlanta’s children, thank you.
To those of you who helped us spread the word and encouraged your friends and family to vote, thank you.
To those of you who have stopped me in schools and on street corners with words of encouragement, support and thoughts on your communities, thank you.
This reinvestment in Atlanta’s kids means that APS will receive up to $546 million over the next five years—dollars committed exclusively to the infrastructure needs of the school district. Dilapidated buildings from our past will come down, and new, innovative projects will go up. Our schools will be safer, and our programs will be stronger.
With your support, students and teachers who have been crammed into crowded classrooms at Grady High School will receive some much needed relief. Howard, the former home of a young Dr. Martin Luther King, will become the home of the cluster’s new middle school. What was Kennedy Middle School will become the Pre-K through eighth grade Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy. Students at the new Woodson Park Academy and our new STEM school on the Connally site will all enjoy significant investments to help with turning around the learning environments inside and outside their schools.
And that only scratches the surface of the bold new plans we will be implementing in every cluster.
We in APS must focus on the future and strive to deliver on our vision: a high-performing schools district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. But even with our eye on that future, I want to take this moment to pause and acknowledge that we are all humbled and honored by the support from this city. It’s an investment we will not take for granted, and one that we will honor for years to come.
And on behalf of the more than 50,000 students who will benefit from your reinvestment in their lives and futures, thank you!