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Guilford County commissioners fall short of proposed school budget

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Several people came out the Old Greensboro Courthouse Thursday evening in hopes that commissioners would fully fund the school board's proposed budget.

Todd Warren is a teacher and president-elect of the Guilford County Association of Educators.

“We are already looking at potential losses of positions,” Warren said. “High School Ahead is going to close, so I feel like on our end, are already taking some heavy losses and the county needs to step up and fully fund budget request.”

Commissioners Thursday night falling sort of those requests by agreeing to add $7.5 million to the budget instead of the proposed $10.2, that money would be used for salary increases and charter school funding.

Commissioners also agreed to pay $5 million for maintenance on the schools and facilities, instead of the $10 million the board asked for.

“Wasn't quite as much as the 10.2 million but we did what we believed was all that we could,” said Jeff Phillips, the chairman of the Guilford county Commissioners. “Not everyone will agree, but when you do the work that we do, under the hood so to speak, you are looking at all the needs of all the services that we are responsible for funding each and every year.”

Warren was disappointed by the decision but expected even worse.

“Better than expected, but still way short of what we need,” Warren said. “I'm concerned right now that it could lead to actual layoffs in the district”

Five-hundred positions have been lost at Guildford county schools since the 2008-2009 schools year.

Chairman Jeff Philips wants people to know that the commissioners do care.

“About 44 percent of our budget is directed very specifically to Guilford County Schools that in it of itself indicates a strong commitment,” Phillips said.

Funding from the county is about thirty percent of the total school system budget. Most of their money comes from the state.