Raleigh, N.C. — County governments across North Carolina would be able to take over school system property under a bill filed Thursday by Sen. Neil Hunt, R-Wake.
The filing officially brings a long-running dispute between Wake County commissioners and the county Board of Education to the General Assembly.
"We're the ones paying for the buildings. We think we should own the buildings," Joe Bryan, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, said during a a recent episode of On the Record.
While counties have taxing authority and the ability to issue bonds, school systems hire teachers and own school buildings.
"We think we do the best job," School Board Chairman Keith Sutton recently told WRAL News after addressing Wake County lawmakers.
Senate Bill 236 is co-sponsored by other senior legislative leaders, including Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca and Budget Chairman Pete Brunstetter.
In addition to allowing counties statewide to control the buildings and be responsible for their maintenance, the bill would allow schools to use the buildings by "non-school groups, only as authorized by the county commissioners." Currently, some schools rent out their buildings in order to raise extra money.
The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.