• School Board Approves Annual Budget Request 

    May 9, 2023. – The Guilford County Board of Education has finalized its budget request to the Guilford County Board of County Commissioners. The request, which was approved on Tuesday, calls for an increase in funding to address pay for the lowest-paid employees.

    On April 18, Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley presented a plan to address dozens of vacancies across the district, including vacancies for custodial staff, school nutrition staff, plumbers, electricians and maintenance workers, to name a few. The school board ultimately approved a proposed $77.6 million investment, which would make GCS a market leader in compensation for frontline workers.

    “These are hard-working people who drive our school buses, make sure students have healthy meals at school, fix the air conditioner when it breaks and repair our roofs when a storm causes a leak,” says Board Chairperson Deena Hayes-Greene.

    Under the proposed budget, teachers would also include an increase in pay. The request includes a $10 million increase in the local supplement, which teachers receive in addition to their state-funded salaries.

    GCS currently ranks 11th for its supplement amount, behind Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake and Forsyth counties. Guilford is one of only four large districts in the state that did not receive additional state funding last year to increase supplements, despite having higher child poverty, food insecurity and a lower median family income than Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake and Forsyth counties.

    In addition, the district anticipates an increase of $1.25 million for benefit rate increases and another $20.4 million for increases to charter school transfers, utilities and liability insurance.

    If approved by the Board of County Commissioners, the district’s 2023-24 local current expense fund would be $349,538,498. Federal funding is estimated at $186,836,743 and state funds are projected to be $461,986,050 pending final approval from the North Carolina General Assembly. This puts the district's projected operating budget at $998,361,291 for the 2023-24 school year.

    The school board’s request also includes $10.2 million in capital outlay funds. The funding will support HVAC projects, technology equipment replacement, maintenance equipment replacement, roofing projects, activity bus replacement and systemwide finishes. 

    Including capital outlay funding, enterprise funds such as school nutrition ($42,545,000) and ACES ($6,246,733) and the special revenue fund, which includes grants ($10,594,252), the district’s proposed 2023-24 budget is $1,067,947,276.

    “In Guilford County, we have some of the best teachers and staff in the state serving our 68,000 students,” says Oakley. “Without them, we cannot and will not achieve our vision to transform learning and life outcomes for all students. By investing in our people, we are investing in our students’ futures.” 

    The county will hold its public hearing for the budget on June 1 and must approve a final local budget by July 1. GCS anticipates adopting an interim budget resolution on June 22 to continue operations in the new fiscal year while awaiting the state’s adoption and allocation of a final budget.