County commissioners question WCPSS 'record request' for funding
Posted April 10
“Where is the money going and how are we dealing with it? This is a record request,” said Commissioner Erv Portman
In his $1.6 billion budget proposal, Superintendent Jim Merrill asked the county for an increase of about $56 million in funding to pay for the cost of growth, inflation, legislative influence and new programs, among other things.
In a presentation Monday, County Manager Johnna Rogers said the county is responsible for paying just $12 million of the $56 million request.
“We want to make sure the way we totally approach this is making sure we kind of met minimum responsibilities, just to give you an order of what that starting point would look like,” Rogers said.
Commissioners said they need to have quite a few questions answered before they sign off on a budget.
For example, state law will require schools to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. Commissioners want to know how Wake schools came up with a figure of $13 million to meet class reduction requirements.
“We’re working on a list of questions to really understand how they’re arriving at these numbers,” Rogers said.
One major point of frustration for commissioners is what they’re calling a shift in responsibility from the state to the county.
They believe it is an issue that could have long term impacts.
“The more we fund, it seems like the more the request is and I’m concerned about the impact that has on our tax payers,” said Portman.
Commissioners are expected to make a final decision on the budget in June.