Wake County Schools

Wake school board talks Tata's budget proposal

Posted April 5, 2011

Wake County Public School System
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— The Wake County Board of Education is expected to discuss Superintendent Tony Tata’s proposed budget during the board's regular meeting on Tuesday night.

Tata’s $1.25 billion budget proposal prioritizes teacher retention and classroom investment in the face of a projected $2 billion to $3 billion state budget shortfall next year.

The school district will cut 46 central services clerical positions, reduce contract months for assistant principals and reduce per-student spending by $52 next year, Tata said, while funneling additional resources toward teacher retention in under-enrolled schools and creating new technology and international studies programs in ten schools.

Twenty of the positions to be cut are vacant, according to school district leaders. One clerical position at each school would also be cut in Tata's proposal.

The district plans to eliminate 181 months of employment for assistant principals, and Tata said he hopes to reduce contracts rather than eliminate positions altogether.

During a committee meeting earlier Tuesday, members decided to ask the full board to vote in favor of the reduction, which would put assistant principals on a 10-month contract instead of a 12-month contract. 

Tata requested a county appropriation of $313.5 million, the same as the school system got last year, despite projections of an additional 3,400 students enrolling in the district.

He plans to stabilize five traditional elementary schools that are either under-enrolled or have lost significant populations by retaining teachers, which will keep class sizes small and maintain or improve current teacher-student ratios. Tata said this retention will make under-enrolled schools more attractive to parents.

Hillburn Drive, Root and Jeffreys Grove elementary schools are currently at the top of the list, Tata said, but those choices could change depending on where students are assigned next year.

Tata has requested board approval for $895,661 for teachers at those schools. The board is expected to make a decision on the topic on Tuesday. 

Possible track changes for some year-round schools

On Tuesday, Tata suggested that principals at schools with less than 100 percent enrollment be allowed to change their single track schedule for the 2011-2012 school year. The schools in question are Alston Ridge, Ballentine, Banks Road, East Garner, Harris Creek, Highcroft, Lake Myra, Rand Road, River Bend, Timber Drive, Wakefield and West Lake elementary schools; and East Cary and Holly Grove middle schools.

The single track, Tata said, would help save $50,000 per school by lowering staffing expenses.

Because year-round schools rotate four "tracks" of students through a schedule of nine weeks of classes and three-week vacations, the schools can accommodate more students than traditional schools. One track is always on break.

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  • BigOski Apr 6, 2011

    "Word"-- Your comments prove you are a strong believer of socialism. You think it is so absurd for the majority to democratically vote these members based upon their running platforms. Move to China if that is what you want. It appears supporters of the NAACP, like yourself, are spending money on crooks like Barber instead of your own children. Now there is something wrong with that.

  • ElijaJ Apr 5, 2011

    Considering moving to Franklin County. I hear they have under-crowded schools, infrequent re-assigments (twice in 15 years), naturally occurring diversity, and smaller class sizes. Does anyone have any first-hand experience with Franklin County Schools ?

  • SlyBlackheart Apr 5, 2011

    "On Tuesday, Tata suggested that principals at schools with less than 100 percent enrollment be allowed to change their single track schedule for the 2011-2012 school year."

    Ummm, isn't that called "Traditional Calendar"?

  • Word Apr 5, 2011

    This new board has done NOTHING but cost the tax payers $$$$. Don't blame the NAACP, don't blame Advanced Ed, put the blame where it belongs - on this board and those that voted them in. Why are the lawyers expenses so high? NEW BOARD. Why did they have to turn around and pay $ for a consulting firm to get a new superintendent? NEW BOARD. Consulting for Neighborhood Schools? NEW BOARD. Electricity, gas, repairs are all going up due to powers beyond most people's control. However, this NEW BOARD has incurred MORE EXPENSES than were ever required because of their IGNORANCE and RASH DECISIONS and they should be required to pay it back.

  • BigOski Apr 5, 2011

    BillO, um....apparently electricity for schools, fuel for buses and extracurricular activities, to name a few, grows on trees. Not to mention the lawyer pay we have to buck up to fight off the racist NAACP.

  • bill0 Apr 5, 2011

    For those who haven't clicked on the link, the budget is 288 pages long.

    Of the $1.25 billion dollars, only $389 million goes to teacher salaries. Probably another 25% is for their benefits etc, so let's call it $500 million to be on the high side. That means $750 million is being spent on non-teaching positions. That seems WAAAAAY out of whack to spend 50% more on non-teachers than teachers.

  • jason19 Apr 5, 2011

    "why are there still vacant positions to be eliminated? I know what that means, it means the dollars were allocated in the prior budget to fund those positions. It also means the school system spent those dollars on something else."

    Sorry, this is not correct. "Vacant" means exactly what it sounds like: there is a position that is not filled. When you eliminate a "vacant" position, you eliminate the funding that *could* have went to it.

    I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that the "money is being spent on something else." Sounds like you may have an agenda.

  • iumat21 Apr 5, 2011

    Actually, it means that when someone retired or was moved from a position during a hiring freeze, the county was unable to hire another person to fill that position.

    As a result there are unfilled positions. The money would not be spent on 'something else'. It just is not being spent.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 5, 2011

    Over-all I do not mind the budget since it is flat. But why are there still vacant positions to be eliminated? I know what that means, it means the dollars were allocated in the prior budget to fund those positions. It also means the school system spent those dollars on something else. I say we need to be paid back for paying for non-existent employees. Further cut the county budget accordingly.