Stokesdale Mayor Pro Tem Derek Foy spoke at a Guilford County Board of Education meeting last week and he argued that schools in the northwestern part of the county are being shortchanged when it comes to school funding.
Foy cited statistics that suggested, when compared to schools in other parts of the county, the schools in his area weren’t getting their fair share.
Foy began by saying that he was a “proud parent” of a student in the county’s school system.
He said he came to his conclusion after reviewing the most current cost-per-pupil numbers from the school system’s website.
Foy told the board that it was difficult to wade through the data but, “after closely examining the numbers,” it became clear to him.
He ran through a list of schools in northwest Guilford County and said they were funded at 23 percent less on average than other county schools.
“Northwest Middle School is the lowest funded middle school,” Foy said. “Northwest High School is by far the lowest funded school in the county – it’s not even close.”
Foy said he realized that many schools across Guilford County were overcrowded and in need of repairs, but he added that that doesn’t mean schools in the county’s northwest shouldn’t get what they deserve.
“It really concerns me,” he said, noting, “That money comes from taxpayers.”
School board officials usually don’t speak in response to speakers from the floor at meetings. However, Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharron Contreras did address Foy’s comments.
“So much misinformation goes out to the public,” Contreras said.
“What you see are Title 1 funds,” she said.
Title 1 funding is federal money that’s directed at low-income students who, due to economic hardships, face disadvantages in the public school system.
“The board is not allocating northwest schools with less money,” she said.
Contreras named a string of zip codes – 27408, 27310, 27358, 27455, 27235 – and said, “Those are the wealthiest zip codes in the Piedmont Triad area.”