GREENSBORO — The Guilford County Board of Education voted on Tuesday to postpone a vote on a policy change that would have set objectives for energy sustainability and conservation for the district, including recycling and using renewable energy sources.
Board member Bettye Jenkins said she proposed tabling the vote because she thought the board’s policy committee should review together the 19 written comments the board received on the policy during a public comment period.
Those commenters said the proposed changes do not go far enough. Instead, or in addition, they want the school to commit to three goals advocated by a group called the Greensboro Solar Power Now Coalition.
Those goals are for the district to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050; to achieve at least “silver” levels in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for new construction; and for the superintendent to report annually on progress.
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LEED is a rating system from the nonprofit United States Green Building Council. Construction projects can earn points toward a better rating via environmentally-friendly practices.
The board is also holding off on voting on a couple of policy changes that would allow for the future establishment of “school choice zones” in the district. As proposed, in a school choice zone, there’s no automatic “home” school to which a student is assigned.
Instead, parents in a zone must choose their preferred school options through an application process. Students living in a zone get priority to attend nearby schools.
Superintendent Whitney Oakley said “School Assignment” and “Magnet or Option Schools and Programs” policy changes were pulled from the agenda because board members wanted more discussion about the proposed policy changes, starting with the policy committee.
The board did approve a revamped version of its transportation policy, which briefly mentioned that students in school choice zones would be eligible for transportation to and from their schools. More broadly, the updates to that policy reflected state rules and the district’s current transportation service parameters, according to the meeting agenda.