The Guilford County Schools Superintendent asked the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor to increase funding for school renovations, upgrades and new construction.
Sharon Contreras testified this week that disrepair and growing enrollment make the district dependent on nearly 500 mobile classrooms. Some are in areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters, as when a tornado wrecked Hampton Elementary last spring.
“Students are moving in and out of the building in bad weather,” Contreras said. “We are grateful that the tornado occurred on a Sunday because the mobile units were completely destroyed. Leveled to the ground.”
Contreras said a recent study estimated that it would cost Guilford County $1.5 billion for necessary renovations, upgrades and new school buildings. She said nearly half of Guilford County Schools are in "unsatisfactory or poor" condition and many facilities make learning difficult, if not hazardous.
“Schools routinely use buckets and trash cans to catch the water during heavy rains,” she said. “Water seepage and flooding is also common, especially since our county has, during just the past year, experienced a devastating tornado, two hurricanes and unusual 12 inch snowfall and a record 64 inches of rain.”
Representatives Alma Adams of the 12th Congressional District and Mark Walker of the 6th District are on the Education Committee. Both have constituents in Guilford County.