Since 2007, ESPLOST has been an important tool to better prepare our children to compete and contribute as successful citizens. Education is the key to their future, and ESPLOST funds have provided improved facilities and advanced classroom technology for our students. ESPLOST is a proven solution to upgrading our schools. It has the least impact on local taxpayers and the most benefit to local businesses. It is estimated that upwards of over 40% of all ESPLOST dollars come from those who live outside Chatham County, which keeps our property taxes lower. In addition, historically 70% of the dollars stay in this community by utilizing local firms.
The ESPLOST Record: Excellent ROI
ESPLOST I 2006-2011 ($310,000,000*) and ESPLOST II 2011-2016 ($273,000,000*)
- 16 new /replacement schools
- 2 major renovations and 9 major additions
- Electrical upgrades, playground equipment, HVAC and plumbing upgrades, fire alarms/sprinklers, roofs, security equipment, interior enhancements, land acquisition for new schools, accessibility improvements supportive of the ADA, new construction & upgrades to physical education/athletic facilities, and academic technology upgrades.
- Over 70% local and over 24% Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise
- Over $100 million in paid-off bond debt
- In the past 3 years, our graduation rate has increased above the state and national averages and our dropout rate has decreased below the state and national averages.
- Beach High School; Recognized by US News and World Report among the best schools for college preparation.
- Garrison named “National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence
- Woodville Tompkins; 100% graduation rate. Received Gold Designation in “Go Build Georgia” program.
- STEM Academy at Bartlett: First middle school in GA to achieve school-wide STEM Certification.
- Named #1 STEM School in the nation by Future Education Technology Leaders Conference.
- Five advanced placement honor schools: Groves, Islands, Johnson, Jenkins, and Savannah
THIS IS NOT A NEW TAX. It is an extension of the existing penny!
ESPLOST has a record of success that is a result of careful planning, prudent use of funds for only approved projects, transparency in reporting, and tangible outcomes in both physical facilities and academic improvements. In fact, ESPLOST II won every ballot box across Chatham County, a strong endorsement of the proven effectiveness of ESPLOST funding.
Future Plans 2017-2022
Past progress is a solid indication of future accomplishment. ESPLOST III projects are a win-win-win. The students win. Local firms win. The future of our community wins. Join the winners in supporting ESPLOST III!
ESPLOST III will also completely retire our school bond debt which diminishes the need for millage rate increases.