Guilford schools targeted in election complaint by former county GOP chair Marcus Kindley

"Kindley claims school system is improperly campaigning for sales-tax hike

The former chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party says ...Guilford County Schools has been electioneering for a quarter-cent sales tax hike.

...Kindley said any monies would go into the general fund, and there’s no guarantee the $14 million would be spent on schools.

In his letter of formal complaint, Kindley ...claims the school system has used personnel, equipment and facilities to advocate for the hike.

Kindley said teachers have sent students home with fliers, automated phone calls have been placed to parents and the school is operating several Web pages, all promoting the increase.

One page includes videos of principals providing school tours and describing needs...

...“They’re using my taxpayer dollars to advocate for something I’m opposed to,” Kindley told The High Point Enterprise on Friday. “It’s against the law.”

...An official with the State Board of Elections ...said Friday, the office would not have jurisdiction, and the matter would need to be addressed by the attorney who represents Guilford County Schools.

...Guilford County Schools spokeswoman Cynthia Shah-Khan said... “Even from the very beginning, we conferred with the school attorney about where the lines are,” she said. “We feel it’s our duty to provide accurate information about our schools and their needs.”

In doing so, Guilford County Schools has been careful only to encourage people to vote, Shah-Khan said.

“They’re informational,” she said of the videos recorded by GCSTV. “They do not tell people how to vote.”

The same is true, she said, for the Web pages built by the district relations staff and the fliers sent home with students. School principals, if they wished, could request the fliers, which were printed at the GCS Print Shop.

...Shah-Khan said she did not have information as to how much time was spent by personnel on building the site or recording and editing the videos.

...Kindley said there’s no question: the school system is advocating for the increase.
“And they’re using my tax dollars to fight me on an issue I don’t agree with,” he said.

...A Greensboro resident, Joe Stafford, during the public comments portion of a board of education meeting Monday night said some school staff members are out of line.

“I’m disappointed that staff members who shouldn’t be involved in telling people how to vote on anything are telling people how to vote,” he said, adding school board members, too, have been partaking. “Your job is to take the money that is allocated and do the best you can.”


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