January 03, 2013
January 5: Guilford County Schools
failed to win a Broad Prize for Urban Education, a national award that comes with $1 million in scholarship money. Denver-based education consulting firm RMC Research Corp. paid Guilford County Schools
numerous compliments – but found that Guilford County Schools
was not doing a good job of meeting federal No Child Left Behind accountability standards.
January 10: The Guilford County Board of Education, before an audience packed with NC A&T State University representatives, including Chancellor Harold Martin, approved a proposal to create an early college on the campus of A&T that would teach science, technology, engineering and math – a STEM school.
January 19: Guilford County School Superintendent Mo Green held his annual State of Our Schools address at the High Point Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 19 – and it was good. Unlike earlier such events, the address was relatively short, not overly sweet and, by the standards of Green's and Guilford County Chief of Staff Nora Carr's unusually grand marketing extravaganzas, straight to the point.
February 7: The school system, to comply with a grading system created by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction found that almost no teachers in Guilford County were incompetent. Social promotion applies to teachers as well as students.
February 14: The school board's School Safety Committee sat through the results of a federally funded report that found that, of the law enforcement officers stationed in schools, known as school resource officers (SROs), 62 percent reported a slight level of gang-related activity in the school in which they work. Another 38 percent reported a moderate level of gang-related activity in their school. No SRO reported a heavy level of gang-related activity.
February 23: All was not well at Ferndale Middle School in High Point. Since the beginning of February, there were at least six fights at the school and a 14-year-old student was charged with having a pellet gun on school grounds.
March 1: Ferndale coach Kenny Angel returned to his job, ending a standoff that began after baseball tryouts on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, when Angel – a teacher and coach at Ferndale Middle School for 25 years – stopped coming to school because of a dispute over tryouts. Parents rushed to support Angel after at least one parent, and the Guilford County Schools
administration, accused him of holding invitation-only tryouts before the official tryouts. Angel's supporters said he had, at most, held skill-sharpening sessions for pitchers and catchers, which is allowed.
March 10: The school system released the results of its 2012 "Employee Climate Survey," which found that Guilford County Schools
teachers were angry because they had received no pay raises in five years and said they're not allowed to discipline troublesome students and feel bullied by principals, students and parents alike.
March 22: The school board settled on the location of a proposed southeast area elementary school. The board voted 10 to 0 to approve buying a 32-acre tract at 3511 East Lee St. Southeast residents had strongly opposed two earlier sites.
April 3: Green released a proposed 2012-2013 budget with a $28 million increase that would have increased the school system's budget from $660 million to $668 million, the largest year-to-year increase in Guilford County School spending at least since the market crash of 2008. Green invented imaginary cuts by deciding that the 2008-2009 state funding for Guilford County Schools
, which was $376 million, the most ever, would be the school system's budget baseline forever, and any cumulative reductions since then were aberrations that should be carried on the books for eternity as losses – a budgetary fantasy.
April 12: High Point, on Wednesday, April 11, made an offer to buy 10 acres the Guilford County school board owns on Shadybrook Road next to the High Point Athletic Complex and Miracle Field for children with disabilities. High Point offered $294,300, not the $400,000 Guilford County Schools
thought the property was worth. The two parties spent the rest of the year haggling over the price.
April 25: Two-and-a-half years into the design of a renovated Allen Jay Middle School in High Point, the project crashed and burned because the architect, Millennium 3 Design Group of Charlotte, pulled out, citing financial concerns and owing subcontractors about $130,000.
April 26: Chaos broke loose at the end of the comment period when school board member Paul Daniels used his time to speak in favor of Amendment One, the referendum on the May 8 North Carolina primary ballot for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Daniels' detour into non-school-related issues resulted in two school board members, Kris Cooke and Jeff Belton, walking out in the middle of Daniels' speech.
May 8: The primary election was a day of upsets in Guilford County school board races. Six school board seats were on the primary ballot, but only two were contested: the District 5 seat held by Paul Daniels, and the at-large seat held by Sandra Alexander. Both Daniels and Alexander lost. Alexander was beaten by a slim margin by Pat Tillman and Linda Welborn beat incumbent Paul Daniels in a blowout. But it was just a primary.
June 5: The Kernersville Board of Aldermen took the better part of a year to consider the Guilford County school board's request to put the $72 million "airport area high school" in the Triad Business Park in part of western Guilford County that has been annexed into Kernersville. It then took three-and-a-half hours to get to the hearing on the issue on Tuesday, June 5, a half-hour to hold the hearing and only a few minutes to kill the idea. The five-member Board of Aldermen voted 5 to 0 to deny Guilford County Schools
the rezoning it would have needed to put the school in the business park.
July 5: A committee of the school board considered a misguided policy that would almost certainly kill private donations to schools by PTAs, community groups, booster clubs and private individuals by taxing private donations by 50 to 75 percent to raise money for an "equity fund" for schools that hadn't received such donations.
June 12: According to Guilford County Schools
financial records, the search for 100-plus acres for the proposed airport area high school cost $2.9 million, despite the fact that the school board never found land for the high school.
June 12: The Guilford County school board meeting devolved into a free-for-all over a plan by the Guilford County Schools
Facilities Department to hand-pick its bidders for construction projects costing up to $500,000, stacking the deck in order to increase the number of contracts handed out to minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs).
June 28: Guilford County Schools
reported that parents had run up $500,000 in unpaid meal charges, and administrators proposed capping the amount a student can charge at $17.50. According to Guilford County Schools
Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ozment, Guilford County Schools
had 9,888 "accounts" with charge balances. Accounts are families, which can have multiple children, charging meals....continued on page 2