Guilford teachers react to superintendent’s pay raise proposal

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- For the first time in Superintendent Mo Green's career with Guilford County Schools, he's recommending a pay increase for teachers and staff.

"I believe that our employees deserve a lot more," Green said, "but a 1 percent increase is a way to say thank you without asking county commissioners for a lot more money."

Green's proposed 1 percent pay raise for everyone in the school system except him would cost an additional $4.8 million. He's asking county commissioners for an extra $9.8 million over last year's budget. The other $5 million is for an increase in operational costs.

Teachers are thrilled the superintendent would even consider giving them a pay raise.

"It’s been really hard to make those decisions between: do we buy this, what we know that we need," said Jennifer Hurley, who teaches at Archer Elementary, a Title I, low-income school.

Hurley spends her own money on student supplies, including pencils, paper, glue and scissors. She wants choices.

"It may be something as simple as going to field trips for one or two kids in the class who can’t afford it, or do we put food on the table or gas in the tank to drive to work every day."

Commissioners will begin debating Guilford County's budget in May. Green said the school system doesn't have a complete backup plan if commissioners deny his request for more money.