GCS board addresses school meals, budget and future building plans
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GREENSBORO -- From food to future building plans and finalizing a budget, the Guilford County School Board had its hands full at Thursday night's meeting.
After four years in a row of facing unpaid meal charges, the board approved a cap on school lunch charges with a vote of 6 to 4. That means after a charge of five breakfasts and five lunches, students will be offered alternative meals.
"It is our hope that we will have the same benefits that some other districts have in that they have seen a significant reduction in their charged meals as a result of implementing an alternative meal," said Sharon Ozmont, GCS's chief financial officer.
School leaders say these are necessary steps to help get their budget in order. Board members approved a more than $626 million plan for the coming school year, but changes are already underway. County commissioners recently approved a one-time bonus to local employees, but only $2 million of the requested $7 million in capital outlay funding.
"This was the first time we moved off just flat. Our capital budget's very concerning but we do have resources that we're trying to employ," said Alan Duncan, the chairman of the Guilford County School Board.
Meanwhile, on the path to planning for future growth, the board's hit another road block. Earlier this month, the Kernersville Board of Alderman voted against rezoning land for the systems "airport area" high school and middle school. Leaders say that means they're back to the drawing board with plans to use bond money approved in 2008.
"We're very disappointed. We worked very hard to locate an appropriate site," said Andrew LaRowe, GCS's chief operating officer. "The money is still on the table. The money hasn't gone away. We just simply haven't been able to locate a piece of property."