Guilford County Schools Facing Tough Budget Cuts

11:48 PM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- With all the schools shootings we've heard about recently it's hard to believe anyone would want to pull school resource officers out of our schools. That's one of the tough decisions leaders at Guilford County Schools must decide.

The district is facing an $8.3 million budget gap for the upcoming year. Like many other districts, leaders are facing another round of state budget cuts, and one-time stimulus funding is expiring at the same time.

Reducing or eliminating resource officers is one of the many proposals the district is examining. It's an idea no one likes, not even school leaders. But the money has to come from somewhere.

"Nobody wants to make these kind of cuts," said GCS Chief of Staff Nora Carr. "These aren't anything that anybody's even looking at with any kind of desire. It's just a matter of dealing with the reality of the budgets."

Other proposed cuts include some bus transportation, athletics and even closing and consolidating some schools.

District officials say, at this point, they can't make any cuts that won't affect the learning process. "It really is impossible to generate millions and millions of dollars' worth of cuts without having some kind of impact on the instructional program and what we're trying to do for our kids in our schools and that's what makes this situation so frustrating," said Carr.

One proposal that's getting a lot of attention includes cutting bus routes for magnet schools. It would affect about 5,000 students who would have to find a new way to school.

The district stresses none of these options have been recommended yet, they're only possibilities. The budget process will begin in February or March. The budget won't be finalized until summer or early fall.

It's important to note: North Carolina ranks near the bottom for education funding nationwide.

WFMY News 2

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