In the wake of Mayor Jay Wagner’s charge to evaluate whether of not High Point should secede from Guilford County Schools and form its own city school system, 25 HP principals released a letter expressing their support for GCS:
As principals united in our devotion to serving the more than 14,000 students and families who attend school in High Point, we are proud to be a part of the Guilford County Schools under the leadership of our superintendent, Dr. Sharon L. Contreras. The GCS school district is the third-largest in North Carolina and the 47th largest in the United States.
Sadly, our excitement about the start of a new school year is being overshadowed by Mayor Jay R. Wagner’s surprise announcement recently regarding the future of Guilford’s schools located in High Point. Embedded in the mayor’s remarks during his State of the City address was the implication that we are failing to educate High Point’s children well. Nothing could be further from the truth.
….As educators, we believe passionately in the power of great public schools to make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people. We also recognize that our schools don’t operate in a vacuum. Family income, parent/guardian educational levels and our community’s economic status have a significant impact. Our schools need more tangible assistance and partnerships, not more criticism from those in leadership. We need better public policies and authentic economic development that address systemic and structural inequities so our children and families can thrive. And we need more resources allocated to GCS to remove barriers to learning. We also need our leaders to advocate for better pay for our teachers and support staff. GCS ranks ninth in the state in teacher supplements. City leadership should be advocating to county officials for increasing teacher pay in lieu of exploring secession from GCS at the very time when our schools are making unprecedented change and progress.