Community leaders and elected officials ask Guilford County residents to ‘vote smart,’ support our schools

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Guilford County Schools (WGHP file photo)

Guilford County Schools (WGHP file photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County leaders are asking the community to “vote smart.”

In less than two weeks we will know if the school district will receive funding to start improving the student learning environment.

“This is an all of us problem, an everybody’s problem. It’s not an us and them problem,” said Skip Alston, a Guilford County Commissioner.

The school district is asking voters to approve a $300 million school bond and 1/4 cent sales and use tax that could generate $19 million.

“We need help so that teachers aren’t placing buckets in the classroom when it rains, and you know I’ve been in buildings where the floors are sinking,” Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras said.

A facility condition assessment study found that half of the district’s facilities are in poor, unsatisfactory condition.

The study listed outdated systems that don’t meet the needs of today’s students.

“We just can’t provide that to them, given the current way in which we have built schools it’s just sort of archaic,” Contreras said.

The district says correcting decades worth of problems would cost $2 billion. The proposed bond wouldn’t cover that, but county leaders do believe it’s an important first step.

“We know that we can’t put a $2 billion bond package on the backs of the taxpayers at this point, but that 1/4 cent sales tax will go a long way towards helping us get started,” Alston said.

County leaders say this revenue would help them look towards the future with healthy, safe, and updated schools that will benefit everyone in Guilford County.

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