School Year Starting With Funding, Safety, And Equity Challenges

School Year Starting With Funding, Safety, And Equity Challenges

4:27pm Aug 06, 2020
WFDD Education Reporter Keri Brown hosted a virtual community conversation with school leaders from around the community. WFDD Screen Capture

North Carolina education leaders say more money is needed to safely reopen schools.

They say districts require more funding for everything from PPE to technology and infrastructure. Superintendent of Guilford County Schools Dr. Sharon Contreras says $100 million is needed in order to reopen safely. Currently, the district has received about $30 million.

“But the cost of the technology alone is $40 million," Contreras says. "That doesn’t include one dime of personal protective equipment or address the dilapidated buildings and ventilation systems.”

And even if learning devices are available to students, Watauga County Schools superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott says internet access is still a problem.

“There are many areas all throughout our state and in every county in North Carolina where there are children who have no access to both broadband and even cell phone service," Elliott says. "That is an inequity that we just should no longer tolerate.” 

Contreras and Elliott made their comments at a virtual conversation hosted by WFDD. Governor Roy Cooper allowed schools to make a choice between a hybrid of in-person and online learning, or all-remote, otherwise known as Plan C.

Class is set to begin on August 17.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you’re experiencing.

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