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Wake School Leaders Unveil 2007-2008 Proposed Budget

Posted March 6, 2007

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— Seeking to keep pace with what is expected to be thousands of new students in the Wake County Public School System, Superintendent Del Burns on Tuesday presented a proposed budget of more than $1.1 billion for the 2007-2008 school year -- an increase of nearly $75 million from last year.

The system's budget does not include any new academic programs and focuses mostly on growth, Burns said. About $16.5 million is earmarked to open seven new schools and meet the needs of an additional 8,000 students, bringing the total number of students enrolled to about 136,000.

In comparison, last year's student enrollment grew by about 7,500.

Other highlights of the budget include $9.6 million for salary and benefit, $4.4 million for new programs, $3.3 million for Board of Education commitments and $2.9 million for fiscal accountability, rate increases, facility leases and safety and security.

The plan also includes about $4.6 million in savings, removing one-time costs from the previous year and budget reductions.

The school system receives 61 percent of its funding from the state, 33 percent from local government and 6 percent from the federal government.

Wake County's portion, if approved, would top $305 million -- an increase from last year of $29.4 million.

The swelling budget comes at a time when County Commissioners and school leaders have haggled over money.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners recently withheld several million dollars from a nearly billion-dollar school construction bond to convert 22 schools to a year-round schedule.

The school board will have several work sessions on the budget and public hearings on March 20 and April 10. A final decision is expected in late April.


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  • Watcher Of Things Mar 10, 2007

    proposed budget of more than $1.1 billion? and last election they were begging for nearly a billion ....

    What is this?
    another 10 digit pan handling effort?

    According to a NCEL press release in January, this Lottery made about $372 million after prizes in 2006.

    Consider this; with all of these hyper growth area's and so many newcomers flooding the state - why is the state so broke?
    Don't they get revenue from the increase in sales tax? auto tax? added gasoline sales taxes? real estate tax? restaurant tax? clothing tax? and even unemployment funds from ALL these highly educated people moving in to work in the RTP and across the state?

    Look at ALL the revenue that newcomers add to the state.

    Why are so MANY people wanting to bail out this fiscally liberal government?

    or are there just too many illegals saturation our economy?

  • inquistitor Mar 8, 2007

    I scanned the full budget report. Under the "What You Can Do" section it only suggests speaking at public hearings. I guess the politicians don't consider what we have to do, such as providing reems of paper to teachers so they can print enough worksheets for their students, providing all of the scissors, crayons, kleenex, construction paper, etc. for classrooms so that our children have the supplies they need to learn. The county spends less per student for classroom materials than parents do. Some schools in the county don't even have enough textbooks to issue them to the students and others have libraries with no books.They are fighting for more funds to build schools but they can't provide for the ones they already have. Perhaps they need to look at where to put all this money they are supposedly saving.

  • Joy4u2 Mar 7, 2007

    have you people looked at the taxe's after you go to the grocery store I spent 80.00 on food yesterday at walmart at the bottom it was 6 dollars in taxes, to me that is plain out to much plus they just raised cable and they are raising stamps, they just keep on raising taxes. I wish I could sell my home and move out of North Carolina and go to Flordia you pay taxes when you move in on your cars but no food taxes. sounds good to me.

  • tarheel1980 Mar 7, 2007

    As a resident of Wake county with a school aged child, I continue to be disappointed in the quality of the school system. The teachers are great, I am paying for way too many $100,000 a year and up "administrators". What function do these people serve? We should insist that the money go in the classrooms. Pay the teachers well. Make sure every administrator downtown is doing something that contributes to the education of children.

    I wonder how much of the requested increase is due to the Governor not meeting his commitment from the State Lottery? As soon as he got it passed, he started robbing money from the "Eduction Lottery" to pay for his pet program.

  • MamaBear Mar 7, 2007

    I must say that after moving here from the North West I am extremely impressed with WCPSS. Especially the teachers and the extra work they put in to help out the kids with special needs.

  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    I don't care how screwed up another school system is elsewhere! That doesn't diminish how screwed up WCPSS is!!!!

  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    There may be reasons to support schools - but that stupid line that "it benefits society" is a politician's quote and a bunch of BUNK!

  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    That is a bunch of BUNK!

  • dukecrazy Mar 7, 2007

    To BottomLine: There are several groups in our society who do not benefit directly from public schools, as you put it...families without children, families whose children are too young or too old for school, senior citizens. If we follow your logic only people with school age children would pay for the public schools. If your income is too low to pay enough of your fair share in taxes, can you still send your kids to public school? Do we make the taxes based on the number of kids you have in school?

    The fact is, that the entire society DOES benefit when we have a well educated population. Today's kids will be driving the core of the economy before you know it and paying the taxes based on the wages they receive and the property they own, we want an educated workforce! AND these children will become our future leaders!

    We need to support our public schools, for all our sakes.

  • diwanicki Mar 7, 2007

    Why is it so hard for you people to understand that the LOTTERY MONEY GETS SPLIT UP???????? If it all went to schools, then you would have others complainning about that. The lottery is used to help, not take care of everything.