Wake school board considering sports, bus, parking fees

Posted December 8, 2010

Wake County Public School System

— In an effort to ease tight budgets, Wake County school board members said Wednesday that they will consider charging fees for playing sports, riding the bus, leaving campus to get lunch and increasing parking fees for students.

Any fees charged would be based upon families' ability to pay, as is done with Free and Reduced Lunches.

School board members are also encouraging the public to submit ideas. The school system will set up an online suggestion box on Thursday.

"How bad is it? It's bad," said chief financial officer David Neter, who noted that state funding to Wake County schools could be cut up to $70 million.

Wake school board considering adding fees Wake school board considering adding fees

School leaders said they think they can raise as much as $1.7 million in a year by charging bus fees. The school system currently makes about $1 million a year in parking fees, but they are considering increasing those fees.

"That calls for some extraordinary measures, and I know that won't be popular," said school board member Keith Sutton. "This budget is going to hurt."

If money isn't found somewhere, classrooms could be in trouble. State education leaders say it could lead to hundreds of teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and cuts to teacher assistants and help for at-risk and special needs students.

Since student numbers are growing, the school system could get a larger piece of the state funding pie, which means teachers might not be laid off, but class sizes would go up.

"We haven't raised fees arbitrarily or because we could not think of anything else," said school board member Chris Malone.

Tens of millions in federal stimulus money also runs out next year, and school leaders are working on estimates. Gov. Bev Perdue still has to lay out a budget and state legislators will take a look, too.


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  • pebbles262004 Dec 10, 2010

    You should see the kids that are on free or reduced breakfast and lunch, the (Girls) walking around with gucci and coach is just funny. We pay for their food so their parents can afford to buy these kind of things for them to take to school and throw on the floor.JMO

  • shortcake53 Dec 10, 2010

    Yes, I saw the comment about "older people" too. Who does he think got him through school??? I am now spending our hard earned cash to send a grandchild through school, so this is my second time around. I have paid plenty, I assure you, and still have a long way to go.

  • x2getrealplease Dec 10, 2010

    Shortcake, It is not only the board who has no clue, it also is from the top down, a state-wide issue. Wake is only an example.

  • x2getrealplease Dec 10, 2010

    Saw another grouping of people, 'older people' don't want to pay. Lots of older people have paid, and paid, and paid. Many of us supported also our children and the schools as volunteers, booster club members for either or multiple areas of academics, athletics, band. We have supported PTO PTA and multiple fundraisers, and most of us still do in some way. Many of us sent our children to college with no gov't subsidized grants or loans and we sure as heck when you look around this area's housing aren't living the above 100K lifestyle. (Let alone higher) We worked, our children worked and were fortunate enough to believe in good grades, and NOW they want to send their children to a reputable SAFE school with a safe and motivational environment. Like many others commenting, I think a well planned (funny I know) voucher system could do wonders in combination with many of the other very good suggestions which are a part of these comments. And, speaking of lottery earlier, I support an

  • shortcake53 Dec 10, 2010

    Your right x2, this board has no clue whatsoever.

  • x2getrealplease Dec 10, 2010

    Having worked in the N.C. school system, having family currrently working there, sending my children and grandchildren there, being a taxpayer, and a state govt employee for many years, I have seen so many examples of extreme commitment by school system and state employees, and so many examples of extreme negligence in the performance of job duties that I can only draw one conclusion. It is that all are different, and the motivation and dedication are individual choices. However, it also means that I have way more experience in how these areas work than probably 97 per cent of the people who are making rash and ageold closed mind decisions. Very few of the decision makers appear to live in the real world of school classrooms, real families, real life, and actual having had or currently having family children in the system. It is frightening, and obvious. Point, get real. This fee proposal is another example of another way to abuse people whose taxes should be used (and what happen

  • dheepa630 Dec 9, 2010

    Lets look at a bigger city and use that as an example. Let's charge every kid riding the bus .25 each way - it'll teach them how to be responsible. lets really look the free and reduced price lunches. Stop putting burden on the working middle class.

  • Pengu1ns Dec 9, 2010

    How about the concept of actually validating those applying for free and reduced lunch. I've seen brand new cars roll up to the school only to have the parent come in and demand their free and reduced lunch for their child. No valid W2 or unemployment, no free lunch.

  • megan22 Dec 9, 2010

    Charging kids to leave campus for lunch is totally ridiculous. I either make lunch for my kids or pay full price for school lunch. I also work for the school system. I am not able to drive my kids to school due to the start times so they need to take the bus. If they charge any more to the chldren, they will just have to make my paycheck out to WCPSS.
    The school needs to go back to the basics. If they can hold meetings at the Wake Forest location Why do we need the Crossroads offices. I have 4 years of training at what I do and do not make a teaching salary, but I do know that the teachers work much harder than the credit or pay they receive and then to even consider laying any of them off is just stupid. I know several like myself who bring work home so that the children get what they need. (No charge to the system), So they are actually getting much more than what they are paying for.

  • Not_So_Dumb Dec 9, 2010

    batman13 is right. We as a society have dumped enormous and costly extra responsibilities on the school system. Transportation. Food. Before school. After school. Pre-K. Psychological evaluation. I bet that 90%+ of teachers would be more than happy to get back to schools as places of learning and nothing more.