The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is considering allocating a couple million dollars for the Guilford County Schools maintenance needs.
Democrat County Commission Skip Alston is leading the charge to use money the country had set aside to buy new voting machines for school needs.
According to Republican state Rep. Jon Hardister, there is $28 million in the state budget passed by the Republican legislature for Guilford County Schools construction needs, but that budget was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
The state House overrode the governor’s veto in a vote on Sept. 11. Not a single Democrat voted for the override.
The state Senate needs either the vote of one Democratic senator, or for two Democratic senators to agree to call in sick, to override Cooper’s veto. Before the legislature finally adjourned on Oct. 31, the Senate was not able to convince one Democrat to vote for the budget. This is despite the fact that when the budget was passed by the Senate it had several Democratic votes.
From the numbers, it sounds like $28 million would be enough to fix the most pressing maintenance needs the schools have without the additional funding from the Guilford County commissioners.
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is running for governor and will almost certainly be facing Cooper in the November election, in a letter to teachers and school personnel last week noted that Cooper’s veto had held up far more than just the raises for teachers that have received so much press.
Forest wrote that also in that vetoed budget was $91 million for school safety measures, $4.4 billion in new school construction and repairs, $1.4 billion in education spending and $400 for each teacher to buy school supplies.
Forest also noted that the vetoed budget included a 4.9 percent pay raise for all teachers that included a $1,000 bonus for this year.
Even Democrats expect the legislature to be able to override Cooper’s veto when the legislature goes back into session in January – which makes it difficult to see the point of holding up all the additional education spending in the budget that was passed by the legislature in June.