Guilford Co. Schools Title 1 money formula could change

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County Board of Education is considering a plan to change how it funds Title 1 schools.

Title 1 federal money is for schools with at least 40 percent low-income rate, and some must go to schools with 75% low-income rate or higher. But it’s up to the school board exactly how to allocate those funds among the schools.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the board is considering changing the formula for how Title I schools are funded so that the schools with the highest poverty get additional funding.

The changed allocations could mean about 29 positions currently funded by Title 1 money would not be next year.

“Without these resources, a lot of kids aren't going to be able to make it to the next step. It's going to directly impact them,” said Valerie Warren. “Taking from one impacted school and giving it to another impacted school isn't the ticket.”

Warren has two kids at Guilford Elementary School and her husband is a teacher. She and other parents are speaking out against the proposed changes.

“What the current proposal would do to our school would mean we'd lose our curriculum facilitator and our literacy specialist. Those are two highly trained support staff. They help children who are falling behind and take some of the burden off teachers,” Warren said.

A GCS spokesperson explained the proposal is based on research from a Johns Hopkins study of GCS Title 1 funds.

Dr. Whitney Oakley, GCS Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, tells FOX8 in a statement, “New reports on Title I funding show we can make a bigger impact on student success if we reduce the number of schools receiving the funds and focus those resources on what we have seen works. GCS recognizes that there are limited resources and no easy answers, but we are committed to working with every school to make the most of the resources they have."