by Sam Hieb
Rhino reports the Greensboro City Council’s Community Services Committee signed off on office space for the Say Yes to Education program in the city’s downtown library—at a cost of $1 per year.
I’ll assume the matter will move on to the full council, where hopefully more questions will be asked. Council member Justin Outling—recently re-elected to the council after being appointed to fill Zack Matheny’s District 3 seat—asked city Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson some pointed questions regarding “information as to what is ‘minimal budgetary impact'” to the city. But here’s the real issue:
Even more so than the city councilmembers, the Guilford County commissioners have a lot more questions about the threat of hidden costs the county will have to take on due to the initiative. That’s because, unlike the city, the county funds the school system. In fact, as it is now, nearly half of Guilford County’s budget each year goes toward funding school operations and paying off existing school debt – so the commissioners are skeptical of anything that might drive that percentage up, no matter how attractive it looks on the surface.
Regarding the county, Commissioner Alan Branson said —-according to the Rhino—“there’s been talk of wraparound services the county will be expected to provide in support of Say Yes, but he added that they don’t know much about those yet, and he said the board didn’t want to get into a position where they are being hit up for a lot of expenses they didn’t sign up for.”