GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Schools could soon seek nearly $26 million more from the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for its upcoming fiscal budget to help give raises to faculty and staff members.  

At Tuesday’s Guilford County School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras explained how the additional funds for 2022-2023 would be able to give teachers, on average, $130 per month more than what they currently make.  

“I think if they had a better base pay, they’d be more interested in the field,” she said.  

While Guilford County Schools is the third-largest county in the state, it ranks lower in pay for teachers and principals than other counties its size.  

It’s ranked fifth in teacher supplement pay when compared to Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake and Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools.  

For principals, it is 10th out of 10 in school districts similar in size and 9th out of 10 when compared to assistant principal pay.  

“Surrounding districts are recruiting our principals because their pay for high school principals is in the range of $150-170,000,” Contreras said.

Out of the nearly $26 million budget, $10 million would go to supplements for teachers, $5.5 million for a student of classified salary comparisons, (this is a look at how custodial staff and maintenance technicians are paid compared to other counties) and $3.25 million will go to raises for principals and assistant principals.  

The $1.070 billion budget, if approved, would be spent differently at Guilford County Schools than it would compare to any other county due to the yearly situations the county school district face.  

Crumbling infrastructure and poor HVAC systems to name a few. For example, on Tuesday classes at Guilford Northeast Guilford Middle School were let out early due to their classes not having working A/C.  

Contreras told school board members on Tuesday:

“We are being pulled in many different ways to try and make up for not being able to compensate employees fairly. So to get employees to $15 an hour and then to pay for bonuses because our teachers don’t have similar supplements to Wake and Charlotte. These are things that other districts aren’t having to use their budget for. Then to use funds for basic infrastructure needs that other districts are not using the funds for. Then we are asked, ‘OK we still want you to close the achievement gap and make up for all of the learning loss through the pandemic with just $300 million.’ That may seem like a lot, but it’s very little when you have $2 billion in school infrastructure needs.” 

The school board will hold a public meeting on May 10 regarding the budget.  

If approved, it will then go to county commissioners to decide whether it passes.