District budget includes security review
Guilford County Schools would spend more than $700 million next year if all requests are funded, according to the 2014 budget Superintendent Mo Green presented Thursday. Green told the Board of Education he wants the Board of Commissioners to provide an additional $13.6 million in new operating funds as well as $10 million in capital outlay for school maintenance.
Local funds include $400,000 for a school security and safety audit.
District leaders have been reviewing school security since the December 2012 school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Green wants commissioners to provide $189.2 million, up $13.6 million, to fund a $5.9 million increase in school operations, an increase of $3.4 million to cover a salary increase for all employees, $1.8 million to recruit and retain quality employees and hard-to-fill medical and health care educator positions and an additional $3.2 million to restore cuts made as a result of the Great Recession.
Green called his proposal conservative and necessary.
“During the past five years, our students and staff have endured budget cuts, increased class sizes, reduced supplies and equipment, and the loss of critical administrative support for schools,” Green said. “Now, I believe it is time to seek adequate funding to support our students.”
The recommended budget includes $10 million in county funding for maintenance, upgrades and support for school buildings and property to restore support to the 2005-06 level.
The proposed budget lays out $13.2 million in potential reductions and redirections, including $1.8 million from the central office and departments and a cut of seven middle school literacy facilitators funded locally after the state stopped funding these positions in 2009-10 school year.
The plan would increase the student-teacher ratio by .25 percent in grades K-12. The savings generated by reductions would be used to cover anticipated losses in funding for the 2012-13 budget and the impact of federal sequestration on Title II programs, Green said.
Shifting funds also would help fund Strategic Plan 2016 initiatives, including a junior class at the Middle College at UNC-Greensboro and a sophomore class at the STEM Early College at N.C. A&T.
“It’s time to fund our students’ education at a level that allows them to compete with others across the United States and around the world,” Green said.
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2014 GCS Budget
Operating Expenses: $629 million with nearly 7 percent coming from the federal government, nearly 62 percent coming from the state and 31.2 percent funded locally by Guilford County.
Total Budget: $706 million
Local funds: Over the past three years, the district has requested $13.9 million in increased county funding, but has not received it. Meanwhile, the district has absorbed $19.1 million in increased costs.
Cuts: In the past five years, the district has cut central administration and school-based positions, supplies, materials and professional development, as well as increasing class size by one student.