A more than $1 billion dollar bond issue has been approved in an Alabama House Committee. The bond would provide funding for every public school district in the state.
Local school systems are one step closer to receiving state funding to help with improvements. A bond issue allocating $877 million dollars to kindergarten through 12th grade would help with school construction projects that don't fit into most local school budgets.
Dothan City Schools Superintendent Sam Nichols said, "It's been a long time since the state passed a bond issue. [The] school [is] deteriorating and we lack the capacity locally to renovate."
Both Dothan City and Houston County Schools have preliminary plans of where the bond money would be spent.
"We have a priority list; [at the] top is overcrowding [the] West and [on the] Southside we need to build schools," said Tim Pitchford, Houston County Schools Superintendent.
Dothan City School officials plan to use some of the funding to build a new high school if the Northview/ Dothan High consolidation project is approved. If not, the funding will be spent to renovate the current Dothan High School campus arts and sciences building, a project that alone will cost $4 million dollars.
Houston County Schools are focusing more on student safety.
Superintendent Pitchford said, “Due to recent events safety issues are a concern and only one school has cameras and all schools need this."
The bond issue also designates $13 million dollars to school systems like Henry County that have lost school buildings to catastrophes in the last five years.
If this bond issue passes through the Senate, we could start seeing renovation projects in the works as soon as next year.