• Education bond draws business groups interest

    This article was originally written by the High Point Enterprise. Click to view >>

    HIGH POINT — The High Point political action committee that’s been active in local elections will take up the issue of whether to place a major education bond referendum before the voters next year as part of its endorsement for the 2020 campaign year.

    High Point Political Alliance President Brian Gavigan, a local attorney, said the PAC is considering whether to call for a bond referendum to be presented to Guilford County voters, as well as taking a stand on whether to endorse passage of a bond referendum issue.

    Meanwhile, one of the leading business organizations in High Point decided last week that Guilford County voters should get a chance to vote on an education bond referendum next year. The executive committee of Business High Point-Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution calling on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to place the issue before the voters, though the chamber hasn’t taken a position on whether to endorse a bond that’s being discussed among Guilford County leaders.

    “Many community and business leaders have visited Louisville, Kentucky, and Greenville, South Carolina, where these bold initiatives have been implemented and have led to tremendous economic growth and the creation of a much-needed trained workforce,” said Business High Point President and CEO Patrick Chapin.

    Members of the county school board and the commissioners are scheduled to discuss possible funding for the ambitious, $2 billion school facilities and capital improvements plan at a meeting this Thursday.

    The proposal was rolled out last month by Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon Contreras and other GCS leaders. The plan would include safety and technology upgrades at all schools, construction of 22 new school buildings, renovation of 19 other schools and eliminating more than 500 mobile classrooms.

    Of the possible $2 billion in education facility needs spending, GCS leaders have indicated $320 million would go toward the three High Point high schools and their feeder middle and elementary schools.

    For the High Point PAC, the possibility of a school bond referendum is a central issue the group will examine. The High Point Political Alliance is made up of local business leaders.

    “From everything that I’ve seen from Business High Point and from the Greensboro chamber, the business community is feeling very positive about the bond,” Gavigan told The High Point Enterprise. “I think it’s good for this to be an issue that the voters get to have the final say.”

    Depending on how the bond is structured, the PAC may take a position on whether to endorse passage of the measure itself, he said.

    Gavigan said the local PAC, which has made endorsements for the past two years, also should endorse candidates in next year’s Guilford County Board of Education and Guilford County Board of Commissioners races.

    The High Point Political Alliance also will consider endorsements for candidates running for local seats in the N.C. General Assembly, Gavigan told The Enterprise.


    pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEpaul