Now that the Guilford County fiscal 2023-2024 fiscal budget is in the can, and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education have kissed and made up. The question still remains – why did Guilford County Schools ask the county commissioners for the monumental amount of $101 in additional money for operations for the new fiscal year?
The biggest request in history by far from the school board has been something of a mystery. The highly unreasonable request was counterproductive in a number of ways. One commissioner said that many commissioners were irritated by the request, since it would mean more than a 14-cent tax increase and there was no way the board could “fully fund” the schools at that level.
Even Commissioner Pat Tillman, who served on the school board until becoming a county commissioner last year, said that when he saw the request he was very surprised the board would have an ask that was so far outside the realm of reason.
School board members and school officials had a simple answer to the question that was reiterated over and over in work sessions. Namely, the school board requested for that amount because that’s the amount in additional money for operations in 2023-2024 that the school system needed.
According to school officials, they need to give big raises to the teachers to keep them. They need to give raises to the classified employees. They need to fund this program and that program.
In work sessions, the Board of Commissioners tried to discern what the schools “really” needed in new money for the coming fiscal year. Though commissioners never got a straight answer to that question, in the end, the Board of Commissioner added $15 million in new money for the schools for fiscal 2023-2024, which begins on July 1.
As to why school officials asked for a $101 million, the answer may be as simple as this: Because, ever since the Democrats won the majority of the board in 2020, the board has basically given the schools everything school officials have asked for. The Board of Commissioners has given new money for teacher pay and more money for maintenance and repairs. When the schools asked for the commissioners to approve a bond referendum, the Board of Commissioners put a gigantic $1.7 billion bond referendum on the ballot and helped pass it.
If you asked for a new Porsche for Christmas from your parents one year and they gave it do you and then the next year you asked for a mansion on the coast and they gave you that, then why wouldn’t you ask for a private jet the next Christmas. Because, who knows?
In basketball, it’s called a “heat check.” When a player is hitting all his or her shots and having a great game, many times that player will launch a shot from a huge distance, just to see if there’s any limit to the hot streak.