What Skip Thinks of the Proposed GCS Budget

I asked County Commissioner Skip Alton yesterday on his blog what he thought of the GCS Budget that is being presented to the entire county commissioners this week. He responded, candidly:

I have been told that the Guilford County Schools will be asking for an additional 15 million dollars this year from the County. I am not in favor of funding the schools to this level. In past years, the School system has always asked for more than they need and expect to get. Therefore if they ask for 15 million, they can usually get by with about 6 or 7 million.However, you will hear them saying that all of this additional money is for the children. I have found that over the years since I have been a Commissioner, that hardly any of that money makes it to the class rooms. Most of the money goes for new programs that do not work and the continued funding of programs that have proven that they do not work. Also I have a serious problem with the top heavy administration that is within Guilford County Schools. Most of these people are making six figure salaries and our Teachers are struggling to make ends meet. The Teachers should be getting the six figure salaries and we don’t need all of those administrators to educate our children. The teachers are doing the work and they should be getting paid more than they are. As to the tax increase, yes I have voted for every budget that included a tax increase. However, on every occassion the tax increase that was passed, was lower than what was recommended by the Manager.

This Thursday night, May 17th, the County Manager is expected to present a budget with a possible 9 cent tax increase. I can assure you that I will not be voting for a budget that includes a 9 cent tax increase, however, I will be voting for a budget that will include a tax increase, how much I don’t know. I am hoping around 4 or 5 cent max.

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I appreciate his candid and open response. Here was my response to him:

I appreciate your candid and open response. We share some commonalities: I too agree that GCS is top-heavy with management, there are too many programs that don’t work and the increased dollars are not going into the classrooms. I can attest to this fact. I think GCS Central Office needs to be restructured; there is too much waste downtown and I have spoken out publicly regarding the ongoing waste and mismanagement. Programs such as Mission Possible are being funded with no data released to support if it working or not. I believe in fiscal conservatism and GCS is not known for being fiscally conservative, and the children end up being the ones who suffer. GCS needs to drastically change how it conducts business.

E.C. 🙂

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