Education

Budget forecast bleak for Wake schools

Posted February 2, 2010
Updated February 4, 2010

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— More tough times are likely ahead for Wake County schools. That's the message school board members heard Tuesday.

David Neter, chief business officer for the Wake County Public School System, told the Board of Education that anywhere from 75 to 100 filled positions across all areas of central services could be eliminated for the next school year.

The superintendent's proposed budget for 2010-2011 will include a $20 million reduction in central services that, Neter said, will affect the school system's ability to support schools.

"That is significant in size," he said of the job cuts. "Yet it is necessary to meet the $20 million reduction we must."

The reduction will also include the elimination of positions that have been vacant since a hiring freeze went into effect in November 2008.

"We're already feeling the impact of the support of those positions," he said. "Once they're eliminated, that temporary loss of support becomes permanent."

There will also be significant reductions proposed in the area of contracted services and non-personnel services.

"This too will impact our ability to support the schools," Neter said. "Response and resolution times will likely go up. Certain services will either be curtailed or eliminated."

The school system is already reeling from a $35 million budget reduction that last year cut about 500 positions, mostly teachers and teaching assistants.

School board member John Tedesco said that, although the expected cuts will help, the school system can't afford to keep cutting.

"We just went through a large round of teacher cuts last year, and we think our teachers need to be protected," he said. "The reality is we need help. We need help on the ground. We need our state legislators and our governor to get in the game."

58 Comments

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  • Native NC gal Feb 4, 2010

    "Well, for starters private schools have no obligation to provide any type of special education services. Not having to pay school psychologists, speech therapists, counselors, occupational therapists, special ed teachers, etc, can save them a ton of money. Granted there are private schools for special needs kids but they aren't operating at $8K/year per kid."

    Yet kids in private school DO have access to these services - and full-time school nurses - for a lot less than it costs to educate a child in public school. The inefficiencies of government are astounding.

  • time4real Feb 4, 2010

    "They are trying to set up the sheep for a tax increase."
    dude, that's going to happen regardless of what we say. at the state level and county level. i predict sales tax goes up another 1% before year's end too.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 3, 2010

    They are trying to set up the sheep for a tax increase.

    Don't let them do it. Vote them out if they raise our taxes even $.01 since Obama is getting ready to give everybody a tax increase with his new budget.

  • NeverSurrender Feb 3, 2010

    Decimate, that is lay-off 10% of the entire administrative overhead and one will have a start on having a well-run organization. They could do these things bacuase "it's for the children."

    ---

    Frankly, they could probably lose 50-75% of the "administrators" over at the Wake Forest Road HQ and no one would likely a) notice or b) care.

    I think Wake County ought to seriously consider privatising the system...if it truly costs less per pupil for them to educate the students to that Mickey Mouse state-mandated curriculum, it may well be worth a shot to eliminate most of the bloat at WCPSS once and for all.

  • pyrosinthesky Feb 3, 2010

    superman, just ignore time4real.

  • baracus Feb 3, 2010

    "How is it that the cost to educate a child in private school is less than the cost to educate a child in public school? Kinda makes you wonder....."

    Well, for starters private schools have no obligation to provide any type of special education services. Not having to pay school psychologists, speech therapists, counselors, occupational therapists, special ed teachers, etc, can save them a ton of money. Granted there are private schools for special needs kids but they aren't operating at $8K/year per kid.

  • RonnieR Feb 3, 2010

    Charter schools are public schools and if WCPSS isn't supporting them, then they are wrong.

  • eternalrage83 Feb 3, 2010

    I agree weasel2. I don't remember the last time I needed to know some of the things I was taught in school because it was needed for me to be a "well rounded person".

  • time4real Feb 3, 2010

    "involves money from many sources including ... county, state ..."
    so do you claim those 2 groups above are getting a free ride and don't pay much at all? news for ya', let me know how this all works out when the teachers get cut later this year and when you get your next property tax bill! Wake is going to lose 100's more teachers and maybe well over 1,000 more. i'll bet my county & state free ride on it!

  • superman Feb 3, 2010

    time4real-- you have no clue as to school funding. Most of the teachers and all the principals are paid with state funds as well as their retirement and other benefits. The lunch program is a federal program. People need to find out what money comes from where before they jump in and make comments. Federal fundss also are received for the Title I program. School funding is very complex and involves money from many sources including grants, county, state and federal.

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