Wake County Schools

Wake schools facing additional funding loss of $2.75M

Posted April 10, 2012

— The Wake County Public School System must cut an additional $2.75 million from its budget for 2012-13, school board members learned Tuesday.

Wake County School Budget Superintendent's proposed budget

That's on top of $24.3 million that's already been slashed from Superintendent Tony Tata's $1.25 billion spending plan. The budget is less than last year because of $28 million in expiring grants and another $8.7 million cut in state funding.

The new funding gap comes from an additional $1.1 million cut in discretionary funding from the state, as well as more than $1 million in additional transportation expenses resulting from the board's vote two weeks ago on a new busing schedule.

School system staff have proposed that the additional cuts be made up in the area of school supplies and from the district's administrative office.

The school system's chief business officer, David Neter, warned that additional changes to budget allocations from the state could affect staffing levels – exactly the opposite of what Tata is trying to do.

As it stands now, Tata's budget calls for no layoffs. It does account for a 1 percent pay increase for all teachers, as well as a one-time bonus for most other school employees.

"As the economy gains a pulse, we do not want to get caught flat-footed, where our most talented people are snatched up," Tata told the school board. "That's why we put this – as meager as it is – into the budget."

Tata has said he plans to fill the additional gap and account for growing needs – an estimated additional 3,500 students and five new schools opening next year – by using $28 million of the district's savings as well as an additional $8.8 million from Wake County.

The county's funding has been flat in recent years, and despite a joint meeting with the school board and county commissioners last month, there's been no indication publicly that the county will provide the additional funding.

In an effort to help cut expenses, Tata had originally put forth a bus routing plan that would save the district $6 million. The board, however, approved an alternate plan last month – after hearing from parents – that saves only $4.8 million.

That takes 79 buses off the road and will result in 33 schools seeing a schedule change, despite objection from parents.

"We are being as open and as transparent as we can," Tata said recently. "It is a tough economic time right now. It's a zero-sum game. I either modify the transportation system, or I go into the classroom."

26 Comments

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  • superman Apr 12, 1:51 p.m.

    You should just forget the lottery money. One third of it goes for the winnings, 1/3 goes for administration and the remaining 1/3 is given to the 100 schools and other educational projects. One third distributed to over 100 schools is really not significint to any one school. The parents should just come up with the money to pay for their childs education. It is not the responsiblity of the public. I would cut every dime out of the state and county budget spent for education if I could.

  • Sick N Tired Apr 11, 3:14 p.m.

    Gee, I thought the lottery was going to fix all the schools problems. Oh, wait, that was just a shell game: they reduce the state funding by the amount the lottery brings in. We could save a fortune by not bussing kids for an hour across the county.

  • ritamccoy Apr 11, 2:58 p.m.

    NC must not be bringing in much NC Educational Lottery money

  • superman Apr 11, 2:53 p.m.

    The state should change the tax exemption for dependents and in its place tax couples $1,500 for each child. The more children you have the less taxes you pay and the more welfare you receive. Hardly seems fair. If I owned 5 cars I would pay more taxes but if I had 6 kids I would pay less. Of course if you have children you dont mind the rest of us who dont have kids paying for your childs education. If you have children you are getting welfare education.

  • Boycott_WRAL_Advertisers Apr 11, 1:57 p.m.

    Parents need to be charged a fee per child to cover some of the costs of their own children's education. "The 2011-12 [WCPSS] enrollment was 146,687 students" -- $2.75 million divided by 146,687 children = ~ $18.75 per child. That seems reasonable. -- Parents, pay $20 for each of your children, and problem solved. -- And please don't respond that $20 is too much to ask. That's a very small amount everyone should be able to handle to cover a whole school year.

  • newssaavy72 Apr 11, 1:50 p.m.

    SMH. There is nothing that the school board won't try and it seems to only did us deeper and deeper into the hole. What is next. I am surprised that people want to go into education as incertain and unstable as it is. I also am surprised that teachers have notleft in droves with all they have to put up with and the extra duties that are slapped on them. I can't tell you how many slips and flyers and letters are sent home where the school constantly asks for money for this event and that event and for vlounteer donations for kids who many not have. I don't mind helpeing, but the EDUCATION LOTTERY is supposed to take up much of the slack of the school system. The taxpayers are paying out enough to live. Food is going up, gas is creping higher and higher and the paychecks are not keeping up! There needs to be an audit of some sort for more transparency of this school system budget. The lottery is a HUGE joke! We need to get daily figures from the state on how much it generates

  • ThePunisher Apr 11, 1:50 p.m.

    cry me a river

  • carlostheass Apr 11, 1:01 p.m.

    "Speak for yourself." --jason19

    Hey, Jason, the vast majority of people in the public sector haven't had a raise in several years, nor have they had funding in their budgets for training or continuing professional development. So while you're getting raises and training that furthers your career remember that many people are balancing the state's budget by mortgaging their future so that you don't have to pay more in taxes. In return, services to you are being cut so you're still getting a worse value for your taxes every year. Budgets are often a zero-sum game.

  • themacs Apr 11, 12:58 p.m.

    Please keep in mind that the 1% raise for teachers is not 1% of their whole salary but 1% of the Wake County supplement to the salary paid by North Carolina.

  • Grandpeople Apr 11, 11:50 a.m.

    LOTTERY Here is the way it works .... for every dollar the Lottery brings in, one school budgeted dollar get pulled out. It is all smoke and mirrows. That little secret that was never told. So yes, it is the Eduction Lottery, but at the other end, there is a vacuum that pulls money out!

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