A group of community members held a rally in front of the Guilford County Detention Center on Wednesday evening to urge more local funding for the public school system.

They want to see funding budgeted by the county for vacant positions at the jail directed to Guilford County Schools.

County Manager Michael Halford recently presented his budget recommendation for the new fiscal year. It totals more than $670 million. It calls for freezing the current property tax rate and adding several positions, including a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager. 

It also provides an increase for education.

Guilford County Schools would receive more than $13 million in additional funds, but it's less than what the board of education is asking for.

District leaders say the extra money is needed to help pay for teacher supplements and to maintain or establish a $15-an-hour base rate for bus drivers and school nutrition workers, among other things.

Casey Thomas is with a community organization called Guilford For All. They started a petition to urge commissioners to fully fund the district's budget request.

“Guilford County Schools remain one of the largest employers in our area, and so if one of the largest employers in our areas is also paying poverty wages, it's devastating our economy.”

A public hearing on the recommended budget will be held on June 3. Guilford County Commissioners are expected to adopt a new budget by the end of next month.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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