Education Amendments on the GA & SC Ballot

Amendment 5: Sharing ESPLOST funds

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Every night this week, we’ve highlighted each one of the five amendments on the Georgia ballot. The fifth and final one relates to education.

There is only one amendment on the South Carolina ballot, and it also related to education. Georgia’s Amendment 5 relates to ESPLOST, the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, the one penny tax that may counties around the state ask voters to approve. It’s used for upgrades, new schools, and improvements to technology.

For about 20 counties in the state of Georgia, there are multiple school districts in one county. For example - Atlanta City Schools and Fulton County Schools - so these counties have to share the revenue that’s collected from ESPLOST.

Regardless of whether you live in one of these counties or not, Amendment 5 is asking whether these counties should have the right to take a vote on how the funds should be divided. This would really only impact one county in our viewing area - Toombs County - which includes the county school district and Vidalia City Schools.

Everyone in Georgia will vote on whether these counties should have the option to vote at a later time if they cannot agree on how to split the funds.

Voters in South Carolina will only have to vote on one amendment. Voters will be asked whether the state superintendent should no longer be an elected position but rather an appointment by the governor. This actually varies from state to state. South Carolina and Georgia are among the 13 states where it’s an elected position.

There are 17 states that currently give the power of appointment to the governor including Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia.

In some states, the state superintendent is appointed by the state board of education or the Board of Regents.

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