Guilford County Manager Mike Halford and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners have been very, very good to Guilford County Schools in recent years – so good in fact that paying the operations and debt service for education in the county now makes up almost half of the county’s budget; and, with massive school debt accumulating in the upcoming years, education costs appear likely to start taking more than half of the budget soon.
The percentage of the county’s budget going to education has been rising over the years and the fact that it will likely constitute more than half of the county’s budget in the near future is a major milestone.
That 48 percent mark is even more remarkable given how fast the Board of Commissioners has been growing the other parts of Guilford County government – by adding swaths of new positions, raising every county employees’ pay and adding multiple new benefits, and funding just about every project or proposal the board hears.
A very small percentage of the money for education goes to fund Guilford Technical Community College. The vast majority of the money the county spends on education goes toward the Guilford County school system in order to pay salaries, operate the system, maintain the buildings and pay off the debt.
In 2020, county voters approved a $300 million school bond referendum and last year approved a $1.7 billion referendum. Debt service from that $2 billion will rise for years before eventually tailing off.
At a recent work session of the Board of Commissioners, Halford made an interesting point about school debt: Namely, the county spends the money to construct the buildings, however, once built, the buildings belong to the school system rather than the county. If you take out a loan to build a house, at least you own the house in the end, but when you’re a North Carolina county taking out loans to build schools, you don’t own those schools.
What has the percentage been historically. You note it is increasing but don’t make any reference to how much it has increased as a percentage of the total budget? You can do better Yost.
The money flows out freely and the grades continue to decline. What’s wrong with this picture?
Teacher and staff pay is still sooo low. Perhaps find a way to look at how money is spent and what is greatest benefit for students. So behind when school admin during covid did not order ipad of laptop for months and then surprised they had to wait for necessary school equipment? Students suffered. High school students were expected to remote learn from their phones. Admin decided just skip over in math what they were supposed to learn during that 1.5 years. People overwhelmingly support education — but need to research where the money is being spent. And what are they doing with all that federal money?
Average salary for NC teachers working 9 months a year is well over $50,000 – plus extravagant benefits and retirement.
If you think you’re sooo underpaid, try finding that deal in the Private Sector. Oh, and you’ll be expected to proficient, and hit goals.
You people have it easy, and all you do is whine, and demand more. What greed. What naked selfishness.
Having been married to a schoolteacher, I would have to disagree with you. They work 10 months, not nine, and perhaps more than that. Gross is $5,000/mo., or a bit less. You have to put up with all the harassment from the little darlings’ parents, and, weak-kneed administrators; it ain’t worth it to anyone who is on the ball. Any teach on the ball needs to get out, and usually does, leaving the remainder with being mostly underqualified.
The NEA is all powerful, and is an arm of the Democrat party.
Yes they do and they cannot graduate more than 20% of students that can read at the fifth grade level and do simple arithmetic. The public schools are broke. They have incompetent administrators and teachers, students who do not want to be in school and there is no amount of money that will change that . Until the “community” changes its basic concept of a “family” where there are both mothers and fathers that have jobs and care about their children for more than a welfare check, nothing will change. Quite giving the money to this system. I will never allow my grandchildren to attend a public school in this county. It is sad because my wife and I and my children are products pf the High Point City Schools and all have been very successful in life. We all were from middle class families that understood the importance of education. God help us.
These are Government schools.
The biggest fiscal mismanagement in existence is teaching your children how to manage money. Let that sink in. Please think long and hard about what actual benefits there are to the government running our schools. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Society has conditioned folks to believe that we must have everyone working outside the home. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s a sacrifice worth making. Do more with less, even if it hurts in the beginning, your children deserve it. We uprooted everything we had and started fresh with one older car (paid for) a smaller house, no cable, hell, no TV for a while, no credit cards, no loans, and one of us staying home and homeschooling the kiddos. We have gradually been able to do more & more. It can be done, but it takes real commitment and a willingness to make it happen no matter what the financial cost. The reward and peace of mind that comes with that is immeasurable.
It’s also worth mentioning that the county funds are only a portion of the GCS budget. We’re all getting fleeced for the millions they get in state & federal money as well. Bonds? Us. Grants you say? Yep, us again. Volunteers? Us. Makes you wonder how anyone was ever educated before the government took over. Hmmm, who taught kids before then? Us! We The People, John & Jane Q. Public, and they did just fine.
How dare investing in our children’s education!
Surely you mean funding your salary and retirement?
The entire Parasitic Sector exists to serve itself, its needs, and its desires. The pretext of serving the public is just what it sells the public to justify its existence.
So in the case of “Public Education” (that’s strange, I don’t own a single brick of a single school, and I’m a member of the public), the whole obese structure exists to provide cushy, well paid jobs to generally lazy unintelligent people who work 9 months a year, receive Cadillac benefits, and produce students who rank about 27th in global ranking, well behind many Third World countries.
Government Schools are just as incompetent and inefficient as everything else government does. They are a crime against America’s children.
If you love your kids, save them from government “education”.
How does the lottery money factor into this? I’ve heard a variety of things over the years. Most recently that a former governor moved it to the general fund. I think we need to make sure the schools have what they need. 100% believe we need to invest in our future. However, the schools need to be better stewards of the money they receive and need to learn how to maintain what they have. Did you know that several of our middle schools cannot have track meets at their school due to the poor conditions of the track? The athletic director at our middle schools states there is a join use agreement between the City, GCS and another entity that uses the track, yet none of those parties mentioned maintain the track. It’s really sad. The elementary school my other child attends, the roof leaks. GCS blames the contractor that built the school in 2007 so they won’t repair it. It continues to leak and cause additional damage. So very sad.. GCS needs to step up and take responsibility instead of ignoring these issues.
Several times, in this newspaper, I have read opinions written by readers who clearly call into question the credibility of our public schools. Some of their concerns are quite well-placed. However, to imply that all teachers are lazy and ignorant is a step too far. I am personally acquainted with a veteran teacher (20+ years) who has always strived to do her best for the children in her charge. She is smart, capable, caring, and dedicated. To suggest otherwise is unfair and untrue.