Floyd on school bond: Voters need to know what they’re paying for

City Schools Decatur has published a detailed listing of projects that a $75 million general obligation bond would finance if passed by voters in November. But former Mayor Bill Floyd said recently that what’s needed is a profound and more expansive explanation of why this bond is crucial.

“I’ve promoted [CSD] all over the country for the last 25 years,” said Floyd, now director of the DeKalb Municipal Association. “But they’ve got to explain what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and why I’m having to pay for it.”

CSD’s latest projections call for the system’s current enrollment of 4,658 students (already an all-time high) to swell to at least 6,500 students by 2020, which Floyd has trouble believing.

“I’m no expert,” he said, “but even if we make 6,500, there’s no way to keep it. We don’t have enough houses. The numbers I’ve seen are about 38 to 40 percent of houses nationwide have kids in school. But to sustain the numbers [CSD is] projecting, we’d have to have 65 percent of our houses with [school-age children], and nobody has ever done that. By my math you’d have to add 1,500 more housing units, and I don’t know where you’d put them.”