Merrill: Many needs for Wake schools, but little funding is 'frustrating'
Posted March 16, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Getting the Wake County Public School System to where it needs to be will be very expensive, district leaders explained to Wake County commissioners on Monday.
Among other needs:
- Expanding Pre-K to low-income children - $1.4 million
- Teacher professional development - $1.2 million
- Increases in extra duty pay – nearly $9 million
- Raising Wake County teacher pay to the national average – about $100 million
"It’s very frustrating,” Wake schools Superintendent Jim Merrill said. “The 3,000 new kids coming in constantly gobble up any new revenue.”
Merrill added that state funds tied to those new students is no longer guaranteed, and the state no longer pays for programs like driver’s education.
“When you have to go back to things you used to be taken care of and you can count on, now you can’t,” he said.
Merrill, currently working on his proposed district budget, showed commissioners the challenges he is facing.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming. It is heart-wrenching,” Commissioner James West said.
While the aforementioned requests will not be in Merrill’s budget, the superintendent provided a hint of his funding plan for Wake schools.
“We are not going to put any of those huge numbers in the budget, but we might put year one of a four year plan, or something like that,” he said.