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Wake School Leaders Make $305 Million Budget Request

Posted May 15, 2007

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— The Wake County school board has requested $305 million for the next fiscal year to keep up with growth and the influx of students, but some county commissioners said taxes shouldn't be raised to fulfil the request.

With a $970 million school bond that passed last November, Wake County taxpayers are already getting a property tax hike. County Manager David Cooke hinted that the Wake County Board of Commissioners could allocate about $294 million to the school system without raising taxes even higher, but not the rest of the request.

School board members said an expected increase of 8,000 students, new schools slated to open, and state-mandated teacher pay raises are driving their budget request.

“We feel that this is a bare-bones budget that we're bringing to them,” school board chair Patti Head said.

The budget request is a $29 million increase over the 2006-07 budget. County commissioners said the school system could have more money allocated to it, but it would be significantly less than the request unless property taxes were raised.

Head said the quality of the school system will suffer if cuts are made.

“We just can't survive on a budget that is significantly less than what we're asking,” Head said.

Cooke said his budget recommendation will cover the cost of new students and operating the new schools that are set to open.

The school board and commissioners are scheduled to meet Wednesday in a joint work session. Cooke said he will make his budget recommendation next Monday.

30 Comments

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  • IHave1-2 May 17, 2007

    Why can't counties recycle buildings? I just read another article where Waverly Place will be razed because it's old and outdated (?). It was built in the 1980s, not the 1890s. I don't know how big that particular building is, but if large enough, why not renovate it and make it classrooms? There just seems to be so much destruction to bring in new construction in an already overcrowded area. Recycling could be helpful for many things. IMO

  • 2late May 16, 2007

    talk about smoke and mirrors to take more money from the taxpayers of Wake County..YR isn't going to stop them from requesting these huge bonds....the state should sue the federal government to recoup the cost of services to illegal aliens....California did it ten years ago..not sure the outcome

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 16, 2007

    The uniformed argument that YR round schools are more expensive than Traditional Schools only tells have the story.

    Yes, operating costs of YR schools are higher than traditional schools. But when you factor in the cost of building additional schools to handle the student enrollment that YR schools offsets, then YR schools are cheaper to operate.

    WakeCares has been great at manipulating the truth to serve their cause. WakeCares website says incorrectly that the current consent form violates the Judges order is incorrect because the judge said on a conference call last week that the current consent form is a valid way to enforce his order.

  • Lord Stanley May 16, 2007

    WRAL: I Can only see the last 10 comments posted... there is no more "View More CommentS" and is there any way that we can have the comments posted with the most recent on the bottom so we don't have to click through sometimes 4 pages of comments, read the backwards (up the page) and then hit back until we get to the most recent post?

    I know this doesn't relate to the article, I tried to find an article it would relate too... but it's just... eh... maybe i'm the only one with this problem but thank you for listening.

  • Not_So_Dumb May 16, 2007

    8000/128,000 =/= 10%.

    Again, why a 10% increase?

  • Pandoras Box May 16, 2007

    Ange1a - from what I understand a lot of people chose YR because they thought it would save money - now and for the years to come they will find it doesn't really save money. Just allows more students at the same if not inflated cost. Schools are used more so are "ran down" more. Less time to do the full repairs needed. And so on. I'm now saying YR does not work for some families, BUT it is interesting this and all information was not given BEFORE we were forced into a decision.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 16, 2007

    If you add 8000 new students a year, there are new costs that the school system must endure. The costs include both variable and fixed costs including new classroom space and the addition of new teachers.

    Mandatory year round is only a band-aid. It allows the school system to create additional class room space until new school construction catches up with growth.

    Unfortunately some spoiled affluent parents in Apex known as WakeCares don't understand this and only see that MYR ruined their three month vacation to Europe and Egypt.

    WakeCares isn't concerned about the school system and the kids, they are only concerned that their there personal life was affected by the school system making the best choice it could with the limited resources.

  • scal May 16, 2007

    Well what else is new? Not enough money again. Seems the only ones who care about education are the parents. I've had my taxes raised so many times for schools it's crazy. No matter how many times they raise taxes, pass bonds, there is never enough money.

    The only way things are going to change is when you go and vote out the deadwood, and put someone in the County Commissioners Office and the BOE who can work together and get the job done!

  • Not_So_Dumb May 16, 2007

    hondaman,
    The Board members are indeed paid. Also, why does it have to take 3 years to build a school when business can get new locations up in half that time? If this is a public need, I am sure that the schools can be prioritized for government processing and cut that even further. Waste, waste and more waste.

  • Ange1a May 16, 2007

    ProTraditional: YR got us nothing but a schedule a lot of us didn't even want and now they still want more $$$$$.

    What makes you think they wouldn't have needed $35 million more if they had not done the conversion to YR? Without access to a line item budget, there's no real way to make a comparison.

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