Guilford Co. Schools votes to table Title 1 fund reallocation proposal

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — School board members voted seven to three Tuesday to table a controversial proposal to reallocate federal Title 1 dollars designated for schools with a certain percentage of its students living in poverty.

Title 1 funding is used for schools where at least 40 percent of students live in poverty.

Under the plan which would affect funding for the 2016-2017 school year, an estimated $22.5 million would go to schools with the highest poverty rates by cutting funding from other Title 1 schools where the poverty rates aren’t as high.

Under the proposal, about 29 positions currently funded by Title 1 money would not be kept for the 2016-2017 school year.

Officials with Guilford County Schools say the proposal is based on research from a John Hopkins study.

In a statement to FOX8, Dr. Whitney Oakley with Guilford County Schools writes:

“New reports on Title 1 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.”

Dozens of teachers and parents spoke out against the plan at the meeting, saying it would take money and resources away from schools that are already struggling.

“We shouldn’t have to fight this hard for the basic necessities for our kids and for our schools,” said teacher Leah Hendershot.

“We can’t fund schools with money from other poor schools,” said Todd Warner, a Spanish teacher at Guilford Elementary School. “We have to increase overall revenue.”

More than a dozen teachers and parents held a small protest an hour before the meeting.

The school board will revisit the issue at its next meeting on March 24.