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Triad school systems approve next year's proposed budget, now it moves to the county commissioners desk

Two of the biggest school systems in the Triad have approved their budget requests for next school year- now it heads to commissioners.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Two of the biggest school systems in the Triad have approved their budget requests for the next school year.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Guilford County Schools both approved the requests last night.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board budget includes $4.4 million in local funds to cover market rate salary increases for the more than 3,000 classified employees in the district.

The district says that classified employees include office staff, bus drivers, maintenance workers, and anyone not required to be licensed by the state.

The school system says the increase would be on top of a projected 5% increase for all employees pending approval of the proposed state budget.

While Forsyth County Commissioners will have the final say on the $173.1 million in local funds, the budget also takes into account the expected funds from other district funding sources which include: 

• State current expenses of $397 million.

• Federal grants totaling $222.2 million.

This brings the total operating budget to $792.8 million.

WS/FCS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Kranz said the proposed increases in local funding requests are meant to provide WS/FCS with funds to improve the overall cleanliness of facilities.  

“The level of service being provided will be measured in accordance with commercial industry standards,” said Kranz. The amount of the local funding request could allow for $2,000,000 more for high-quality custodial services.

Kranz said a $600,000 contract increase was charged to the district by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for school resource officers and a $60,000 increase by the City of Kernersville to provide security services at the schools served by the Kernersville Police Department.

The newly approved budget now moves to the Forsyth County Commissioners, where it will be presented tomorrow, Thursday, May 11.

The Guilford County Board of Education finalized its budget request as well.

The request calls for increased funding to address pay for the lowest-paid employees.

The school board ultimately approved a proposed $77.6 million investment, which the district said would make GCS a market leader in compensation for frontline workers.

Under the proposed budget, teachers would also receive an increase in pay.

The request includes a $10 million increase in the local supplement, which teachers receive in addition to their state-funded salaries.

In addition, the district anticipates an increase of $1.25 million for benefit rate increases and another $20.4 million for increases to charter school transfers, utilities and liability insurance.

If approved by the Board of County Commissioners, the district’s 2023-24 local current expense fund would be $349,538,498. 

Federal funding is estimated at $186,836,743 and state funds are projected to be $461,986,050 pending final approval from the North Carolina General Assembly. This puts the district's projected operating budget at $998,361,291 for the 2023-24 school year. 

The school board’s request also includes $10.2 million in capital outlay funds. The funding will support HVAC projects, technology equipment replacement, maintenance equipment replacement, roofing projects, activity bus replacement and systemwide finishes.  

Including capital outlay funding, enterprise funds such as school nutrition ($42,545,000) and ACES ($6,246,733) and the special revenue fund, which includes grants ($10,594,252), the district’s proposed 2023-24 budget is $1,067,947,276.  

The county will hold its public hearing for the budget on June 1 and must approve a final local budget by July 1. GCS anticipates adopting an interim budget resolution on June 22 to continue operations in the new fiscal year while awaiting the state’s adoption and allocation of a final budget.

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