Guilford County, NC -- The Board of Education approved the budget for the 2013 to 2014 school year on Thursday night, confirming administrators' indications that the district would have to face funding cut challenges this year.
Guilford County Schools cut of redirected about $22.4 million to balance the more than $600 million budget. The board reallocated the $400,000 for a facilities audit focusing on safety and security and the $200,000 set aside for a disparity study. It redirected those funds to restore some work days for teachers assistants and paraprofessionals. The board restored four and a half of the seven work days that initially were reduced in July, in an effort to counter state funding cuts for school employees.
Preliminary funding cuts from the state and county, in addition to cost increases, left GCS with a $21 million funding gap. To fill the gap, the new budget includes a redirection of $4.2 million in Title I funds carried over from last year. The one-time use of Title I funds allows the district to keep teaching positions at Equity 2 and Equity 3 schools in the district. Those schools receive funds for additional positions because of the number of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.
As a result of the loss of some state-level and flat funding, the GCS loses $5 million in funding for school supplies and materials, tutors and staff development. Class size will increase statewide by .25, which will cost GCS $1.8 million. The number of central offices also will be reduced.
On Wednesday, the school district's chief financial officer and superintendent said though the funding they received is not what they had hoped for, they are excited for what they say will be a "great" school year with new technology, programs and buildings.
All students in major Triad school districts will be back to school on Monday.
WFMY News 2