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GCPS-Gwinnett Chamber Partnership to Be Reviewed by Attorney General

The Gwinnett school system has helped Partnership Gwinnett fund business recruitment.

The Georgia Attorney General's Office has agreed to review the legality of a financial arrangement between the Gwinnett school system and a Gwinnett Chamber business unit, according to a media report.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that Lauren Kane, a spokesperson for Attorney General Sam Olens, said that the office is reviewing the issue. It is acting on a request by state schools Superintendent John Barge.

Since 2007, the Gwinnett system, which is headquartered in Suwanee, has given Partnership Gwinnett $150,000 a year. That money helps to fund the salaries of two employees who work to recruit new business to the county. School system officials say that the new businesses bring in a return in property taxes that more than pays for the investment.

Sabrina Smith, head of a citizen watchdog group and Dacula Patch blogger, has questioned whether that’s a legal use of tax money that has been collected for education.

The GCPS board never has voted on the expenditure. Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks has said he has the authority to approve the funds and that the board has been supportive.

What do you think? Do you agree with this use of Gwinnett Schools' taxpayer funds? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more here:

  • How Did Partnership Gwinnett Use Your Tax Dollars?
  • What Is the Priority for GCPS: Students or Chamber Employees?
  • Education Funds Paying Gwinnett Chamber Salaries Instead of Educating Students
  • Where Are Gwinnett’s Leaders?
Shelly Nix November 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
If this issue is a miss use of funds by the Board of Education in Gwinnett County it would seem prudent to refund said funds to the Gwinnett County Schools. It could help alleviate the need for some of the furlough days that teachers have had to endure.
Bev Lougher November 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Having the Attorney General of Georgia review the legality of the arrangement between Gwinnett School system and the Chamber of Commerce should clear up this issue once and for all. This is a good thing.
Jim Regan November 12, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Yes Bev this would be a good thing and hopefully will be a precedent to stop this sort of activity throughout GA and in other governmental agencies. In additon we need to hold Wilbanks accountable for his decision to focus on 'political' issues rather than educating students.
WantingFacts November 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM
School system officials say that the new businesses bring in a return in property taxes that more than pays for the investment. How many of you believe that? If you do, I want to sell you some swamp land, or even better, overpriced land in Gwinnett. Even if this is true, which I doubt, is Wilbanks supposed to be investing education funds? Is that why we pay property taxes, so Wilbanks can invest that money in whatever organization he chooses? Why did he decide that the chamber was the best investment?
Annette Rogers November 13, 2012 at 12:38 AM
"Overpriced land in Gwinnett" - didn't catch that the first time I read! :) I suggest peddling overpriced sewer systems and "roto rooter" services.

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