John Evans, President of the DeKalb County branch of the NAACP, wasn’t happy with the ESPLOST project list but has subsequently been assured by Superintendent Green that ESPLOST funds will be spent throughout the county.
The AJC reported NAACP to DeKalb Schools: E-SPLOST proposal lacks transparency. The report states that in a letter to Superintendent Steve Green, dated April 19, NAACP President John Evans said the lack of a list of projects is concerning. The group supported E-SPLOST IV, Evans said. For that vote in 2011, the resolution included a list of projects.
“The process of asking the voters to first approve the ballot initiative, then to have a July-September period for public meetings on system and project selection criteria, followed by a Nov. 5, 2016 review of the project list and a Dec. 7 approval of the project list is somewhat disconcerting,” Evans wrote. “This is not the transparency that the citizens of DeKalb deserve.”
The letter the NAACP sent to Superintendent Steve Green, dated April 19, says “This is to request at your earliest convenience the formula which will be used to expend the $500 million in anticipated [E-SPLOST V funds]. I must point out that if the formula will be based only on the projected growth in DeKalb, then the formula will be discriminatory because of the stable or static growth in South and East DeKalb and the anticipated high growth that may be anticipated in North DeKalb.”
On April 24, John Evans sent this apology letter saying, “[I] express my deep regret for not waiting for a reply from you regarding my letter of April 19, and I offer you my heartfelt apology. The meeting you so graciously held on Monday, April 26 and the promised data were sufficient to address the concerns of this Branch.”
The NAACP DeKalb County Branch released this Press Release saying, “on Monday, April 25, the concerns expressed by the NAACP were addressed. The NAACP wanted an assurance that the funds generated by E-SPLOST V would be equitably expended throughout the County and would address the greatest school needs. The NAACP was completely satisfied with the outcome of that meeting.”
The NAACP press release went on to condemn the original AJC article calling it erroneous and deliberately misleading.