The recommendation was made by the finance committee chaired by Board Member Kelley Dial who expressed her pleasure with the decision at Thursday's meeting. "We're excited about that because I think it will save us a lot of money," Dial said.
Suntrust was approved as the underwriter since they sold the initial bonds. The bonds were used by the district for renovation projects at Cartersville High.
"We are looking at refinancing those at a lower interest rate. By doing so, it should save the school system about $500,000 in interest payments over the life of the bonds. Those are being repaid by [Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax] dollars, but this will enable us to use those SPLOST dollars for other things if we can save a half million dollars, and keep indebtedness off of the local property taxpayers," said Ken Clouse, assistant superintendent.
The refinancing process for the bonds will be further dictated by officials at Suntrust depending on market fluctuations as several sectors are seeing record low interest rates.
"We don't know when these new issues will take place on the refinancing. That just depends on when they're able to be sold, and when the best rates are -- that will be up to Suntrust," Clouse said.
Also on the agenda were several items from the policy committee. These items were approved by the board to better align local policy with state guidelines and recommendations.
Minor changes will be made in IHA - grading system; JB - student attendance; and JBC - school admissions, transfers and withdrawals. Concerning student attendance, the change states that the district will no longer have to send a certified letter to parents once their child has reached a predetermined number of absences. The notification may now be by standard mail thereby reducing cost.
The item referring to school admissions, transfers and withdrawals is due to a Georgia Board of Education policy change now allowing -- under certain hardship circumstances -- grandparents to enroll students without having full guardianship.
Other policy changes will sit on table for public review and comment for 30 days, those include rescinding the current BH - ethics of the Board of Education and BHA - conflicts of interest to be replaced by the adoption of a new set of policy for each.
Lastly, changes in policy regarding BBB - Board of Education Governance was approved for public review and comment.
Personnel recommendations made Thursday were approved for three positions, two of which were school nutrition assistants and the third a Kindergarten teacher.