On Tuesday, Jan. 11, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston announced that he’ll meet with Smith High School Principal Melvin Marshall, take a tour of the high school and discuss the school’s repair and renovation needs.
This is one of many similar announcements to come. Between now and the vote on May 17 on a $1.7 billion school bond referendum, you can expect to hear a lot about these tours.
On Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 4:30 p.m., Alston will take the tour of Ben L. Smith High School at 2407 S. Holden Road in Greensboro,
The tour announcement notes that “Media is invited to attend.” In fact, Alston hopes a whole lot of reporters will show up because one of the major goals of this event is to get the message out to the public that the county’s schools need a lot of major repair work.
In late 2021, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved putting the giant school bond package on the ballot in the upcoming primary election, and now many county commissioners – especially Alston and Commissioner Mary Beth Murphy, a teacher for Guilford County Schools – are doing all they can to help that $1.7 billion initiative gain voter approval.
To accomplish that goal, county commissioners are trying to draw attention to the leaky roofs, HVAC issues, decaying walls, security concerns and the generally dilapidated conditions found in many of the schools in the county’s system.
The effort to raise public awareness started last year. On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Alston and Commissioner Carly Cooke toured Page High School along with members of the media.
Alston said at that time that those who see the conditions in county schools will be downright shocked.
Alston got the idea for the frequent tours after a November experience in which he – and other Guilford County officials – got to be “Principal For A Day.” Alston said that, on the day he got to be principal, he was amazed at how many repairs were needed at the school. He then decided to take a series of tours – along with the media – to highlight some of the pressing issues in the system.
Alston cannot have more than three other commissioners with him on one of these tours without an announcement giving notice of a public meeting. Anytime five or more of the nine commissioners get together on matters related to county business that meeting must be properly noticed 48 hours ahead of time and the public must be allowed to attend. Alston can, however, legally meet in private with three or fewer other commissioners whenever he wants.
All the cash you can siphon off will not improve the education of our children. Good schools, good teachers, and good students will. Get politics out of the classroom.
What should SHOCK the citizens of Guilford County is that our school board and county commissioners have let our school buildings deteriorate to the level that they are currently in. We have voted many times over the past 20 years I have lived in this county for school
Bonds to build new buildings, remodel old buildings and supposedly unfit and refurbish existing buildings. Please tell the citizens of this county how you are going to change this behavior as nothing has even been said about what lessons we have learned and how we will not get in this hole again. Then I might vote for a school bond like this but not now.
Schools can convert lapsed salaries to the maintenance accounts, but can convert maintenance accounts and transfer them to salaries.
Guess what? That’s a main reason why the school system wants to keep spending their lapsed salaries to buy things they don’t need. I know someone who retired from the GCS and they told me near the end of the fiscal year there was a “RUSH’ to buy things they didn’t need (paper, computers, other things), since if they didn’t they might get less from the County the following year. That’s the mindset of the school system. . . .make sure you spend all the money. They even told me there were huge supplies that would last them 2 or 3 years, versus what they needed in one year.
Where is the accountability to the taxpayers and where are the reports from internal and external auditors of the school system’s finances? They are public records, so why not provide copies of them to the public, even by the RHINO?
That’s not just the school system having worked 20+ years in the NC state building systems we always did the same thing every June. Buy it whether we needed it or not. Leave no money unspent
Keep up the tours Skippy. There is no doubt that there has been a disgraceful neglect of the physical plants of the public schools in Guilford County. However, there has also been a disgraceful performance of our students on testing and other measures of success. I fail to see that the two are related. If you want the taxpayer to agree to the extreme cost of the bond referendum, the county commissioners must also implement a checks and balances system that insists on an increase in student performance. If the public schools cannot perform, then they should be replaced with alternative means for educating our young people. The current administration believes that the answer to all the problems with student performance can be solved with more money from the taxpayer. Balderdash. The problem is with a grossly inflated administration, a lack of discipline in the schools, teachers that are as dumb as their students and parents who could not care less about the education of their children. When the entire system is broken, maybe it is time to look at alternatives.
The government schools system is an open sewer of incompetence, indifference, violence, bullying, sexual predation and obscene profligacy.
It’s just another coercive government monopoly, that exists for the benefit and enrichment of those who “work” in the charade (for a full 9 months a year!).
It needs to be broken up and replaced with a competitive free market based system.