Piggy bank on school books FOR WEB

GREENSBORO — The Guilford County Board of Education passed an interim budget resolution Thursday that allows the school system to continue operating while the board waits on details of state funding for schools before finalizing the annual spending plan.

Guilford County commissioners voted last week to increase the school system’s operating budget by $3 million while decreasing the capital outlay fund, which mostly pays for building maintenance projects, by the same amount.

That comes to nearly $210 million for operating expenses. Capital outlay ends up at just more than $3 million, down from the little over $6 million in the county’s 2019-20 adopted budget.

County Manager Marty Lawing said the county moved the $3 million to the operating budget to assist with increased costs to run the school system.

The funding is less than what the school board requested, which was a $7.5 million increase in the schools operating budget and about $20 million total for capital outlay.

The commissioners did vote separately to give $10 million in federal CARES Act money to help the school system respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. That could cover items such as student laptops, new sanitizing equipment, increased custodial work and self-flushing devices for school restrooms.

They also decided to give the schools some additional flexibility on half of the $10 million previously set aside for school security. The schools can now use up to $5 million of that for expenses related to reopening schools this August in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis as well as for school building maintenance.

For the third meeting in a row, officials held off voting on next school year’s calendar.

The school board first postponed the vote to give more time for public comment, and school administrators then postponed it twice as they work through state guidance on opening schools before submitting a calendar for a vote.

According to Nora Carr, the school system’s chief of staff, administrators are operating on the assumption of an Aug. 17 school start date, unless and until there’s any change in law, executive order or state guidance to the contrary.

The school board plans to hold a work session at 6 p.m. July 9 to discuss reentry plans for the coming school year. It will be online and open to the public.

Contact Jessie Pounds at

336-373-7002 and follow

@JessiePounds on Twitter.

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