For Immediate Release: January 11, 2018
Contact: Tina Firesheets (336) 370-8307
Media Desk (336) 574-5730
GCS Board of Education Approves Legislative Agenda
Repeal of class size mandate leads its agenda
Greensboro, N.C. – At its meeting Tuesday, the Guilford County Schools Board of Education approved its state and federal legislative agenda for 2018.
Leading their agenda is a call to repeal the K-3 class size reduction mandate. Support for Career and Technical Education and improving the teacher and principal pipeline are also top board priorities.
The class size mandate required GCS and other districts to provide lower class sizes without providing the funding needed to pay for the additional teachers, books, desks and other costs. District officials expect the mandate to cost the district more than $11 million for additional school personnel next school year, in addition to the $8 million already spent this fall.
“We can’t continue to increase class sizes in grades 4-12 and make cuts to other important areas without negatively impacting the quality of education we provide our students in GCS and across the state,” said Nora Carr, chief of staff. “We need legislative relief at the state level, or we need dramatic increases in funding to balance our budget without harming our instructional program.”
In addition, to repealing HB 1030, the board prioritized strengthening career and technical education and addressing personnel shortages by increasing compensation and/or offering a variety of incentives. North Carolina currently ranks 35th in teacher and 49th in principal pay.
Expanding prekindergarten as a key early intervention strategy also made the list. Each year, GCS has about 500 children on waiting lists for its prekindergarten programs. Due to limited funding, the district is only able to serve about 27 percent of it annual kindergarten enrollment each year.
The school board’s entire legislative agenda may be found here
About Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, the 47th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, and serves more than 73,000 PK-12 students at 126 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com
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