Fifteen School Districts Stand To Benefit From State Bond

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - North Alabama schools stand to benefit from a $175 million bond, provided by a 2010 bill passed by the Alabama legislature. Senate Bill 245 was modified earlier this year, and is meant to accommodate for five counties impacted by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

First, a survey of jobs created at the Redstone Arsenal has to prove more than 4500 qualifying jobs have been created since the last BRAC. No official survey has been conducted yet, but officials are confident they have met the mark.

At a meeting between school leaders, legislators, and lawyers on Thursday, officials discussed how the bonds will be divvied up among the districts.

"The intent of the legislation is that the systems that are most affected and have the most BRAC  families in their communities will obviously deserve a larger portion of the funding that’s available for school construction," explained state Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur.

Not all of the details have been ironed out. When the survey will take place is still undetermined. The 12 month decision period wherein districts can determine how much money they think their schools need, cannot start until the survey is finished.

The payment period on the bond is also undetermined, but the low interest is already has school leaders seeing it as a win-win for schools and taxpayers.

"The state pays half, we pay half - dogon at 50 percent on the dollar, we're very excited about it," said Dr. Dee Fowler, Superintendent of Madison City Schools.

Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, Casey Wardynski, agrees.

"A lot is already going on, but over the next ten years we probably have about $200 million of work to be done," said Wardynski. "This bond money could be very helpful to our school district and get that work accelerated."