Wake County Schools

Wake school board approves $1.25B budget

Posted May 3, 2011
Updated May 4, 2011

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— The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday approved Superintendent Tony Tata's proposed $1.25 billion budget in a 5-2 vote.

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

Under the budget, 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, while funneling additional resources toward teacher retention in under-enrolled schools and creating new technology and international studies programs in 10 schools.

The budget includes about $313 million from the county. 

"In the spirit of cooperation with our county commissioners and our struggling community, I think it behooves us to do the best we can with the resources we are given," board member John Tedesco said. 

Prior to the budget vote, board member Anne McLaurin asked for an amendment to request more money from county commissioners. Board members Keith Sutton and Carolyn Morrison voted in favor of the amendment, which was defeated 4-3.

"If you ask and someone says, 'No,' and explains the reason, then you live with that. But if you never ask, then you are shirking your responsibility," McLaurin said of her proposal.

Wake County Public School System Wake school board approves $1.25B budget

In addition to the budget, the board also voted to change the schedule of five underutilized year-round schools to a single-track system to save money. The schedule will be changed for two years to see how well it works. 

The schools affected by the change are: Alston Ridge, Highcroft, Lake Myra, Rand Road and Timber Drive.

Tata originally proposed changing 14 year-round schools but reduced the number after getting feedback from parents and staff. 

The idea of converting year-round schools is a controversial one that has drawn some criticism. The community group Great Schools in Wake County had asked Tata to put the issue on hold until reassignment plans are complete.

Because of the late change, Tata said they would work with families to excuse absences due to vacations or other plans already scheduled based on the current schedule.

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  • superman May 5, 2011

    May I remind you that the bond issue for the schools FAILED several years ago. Had the voters approved that bond issue schools would be in a much better position now. It takes 3 to 5 years to plan and build a school. New construction is not a quick fix even when they have the money. The board has already lost a 30 million federal grant and threw away another 3 million when they changed the location of a new high school. That adds up to 33 million this school board has cost the taxpayers. Finding money to give teachers a bonus and at the same time terminating others is foolish and does not make good business sense. This board needs to resign and go home and stay there. Are there people in la-la land that would want rental property vacant for 2 months every year?

  • cwmllc1952 May 4, 2011

    Mathematically it takes 3 YRs to turn out the same number of students as 4 Traditional when properly done. 3 house payments are cheaper than 4.
    I personally don't prefer YR but that doesn't change the Math. Shut the doors on some schools til needed and bring to capacity the other schools.

  • Not_So_Dumb May 4, 2011

    rand321 - I share your view. YR will always be popular with the board because it shifts costs to the operations budget rather than requiring the courage to take a school construction bond to the public. This is why it was done before, and this is why it will be done again.

  • rand321 May 4, 2011

    We should not be surprised that in the next few years, we will look at re-opening the multi year track year round schools and convert more traditional to year round.

    What the School Board is dancing around is how the growth factors and new assignment models will impact their anticiapted new bond issues and planned tax hikes.

  • Not_So_Dumb May 4, 2011

    As I stated before, YR is not a factor in academics. What it is financially, and this is shown by the results here in Wake and across the USA, is a shell game. Yes, it can save money on new construction, but those saving evaporate because of increased operational costs. The theory of YR rarely actualizes and the potential increased enrollment is seldom, if ever, realized.

    My kids are in YR and I love it, but the way in which it has been sold to the public would constitute fraud in the business world.

  • Shamrock May 4, 2011

    I am also eager to hear where 5 dollar got the impression that YR is only used to mask test scores. I haven't seen any data to support that notion.

  • Remy May 4, 2011

    5 dollar - it is quite obvious you have no data, just shooting off again. You are a right fighter. If you learn facts that do not support your opinion, you dismiss it. But when some facts come out that support your opinions, you grandstand it. No logic required. Yesterday you said that parents with kids in year round are using school as a babysitter, now you say your kids are in YR schools, so I guess you use the schools as a babysitter as well so you can sit here everyday and criticize everyone else with different choices than your choices. Your children watch you, and you are only teaching your children hate without basis or logical reason.

  • for the people May 4, 2011

    I SAY ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS NOW to alex25's, 5 dollar gas, and other ENTITLEMENTS they won't answer to here. no more mortgage write offs, no more before tax contributions to your retirment plans, no more tax free health beneifts. CUTS, CUTS, CUTS.

    ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS NOW!!!! WE ARE BROKE. ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS NOW. WE CAN'T AFFORD THESE PROGRAMS ANYMORE.

    its so hypocritical its almost funny. almost.

  • Rebelyell55 May 4, 2011

    I hope some other school districts are looking and learning.

  • Not_So_Dumb May 4, 2011

    "It's not about kids and parents.

    It's about kids."-themacs

    Incorrect. Unlike for the case of calendars, there is a reliable correlation between parental involvement and student achievement. Any step that alienates parents from the school system or the educational process is one that will hurt kids.

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