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Budget Shortfall Forces School Board to Cut Pay Raises

Posted July 17, 2007
Updated July 18, 2007

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— The Wake County Board of Education Tuesday voted to cut more than $1.7 million in employee pay raises and to decrease funding in other areas of next year's operating budget to help make up for a $4.9 million budget shortfall.

"It was just a matter of sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and how are we gonna balance this, how are we gonna come up with it," said Patti Head, head of the school board.

About $1.17 million cut from the 2007-2008 spending plan would have gone toward certified salary supplements, which would affect teaching staff. Another $300,000 was cut from a 2 percent performance supplement and more than $225,000 was cut from an increased extra-duty compensation salary schedule.

The cutbacks were only from new pay supplements and only affect raises from the school system. Certified staff are still expected to get a 5 percent raise from the state.

The board decided, however, not to cut $1.9 million of pay supplements for non-teaching staff, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

In May, the school system requested $305 million to keep up with growth and the influx of students. Last month, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved a 0.8-cent increase in the county property tax rate that will give the school system $300 million, but $5 million less than what it requested.

"We were looking everywhere we could find somewhere to replace those funds," said Carol Parker, a school board member.

Board members went back on a recommendation they made earlier Tuesday to cut $1.12 million allocated for intersession teaching assistants at year-round schools. Those employees help students, who are enrolled in year-round schools but on a break, catch up with their studies and improve.

But they decided Tuesday evening to take that money from the school system's reserve fund, along with another $1.26 million.

"I would have preferred not to have done that deeply into our fund balance," said Head. "We deal with this every year."

School officials also decided to drop funding for high-school lacrosse programs at 19 high schools, but decided to keep varsity lacrosse and cut junior varsity as long as funding doesn't exceed more than $100,000.

Cuts also include $166,098 for funding of charter schools, $68,757 for technology contracts, $5,240 in athletic funding at East Cary Middle School and Wendell Middle School.

125 Comments

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  • ikmar Jul 18, 2007

    you all are really missing the boat. The school board is using the new tools called "NEW MATH" to calculate the budget for the schools. So anything they say is correct no matter how far off it is. We wouldnt want the school board to get thier feelings hurt and feel that thier ideas are not perfect.

  • NCTeacher Jul 18, 2007

    Had Enough- We HAVE accountability. If anyone needs more accountability it is the STUDENTS and PARENTS. Us TEACHERS are being held plenty accountable believe me.

  • HadEnough Jul 18, 2007

    I think it is time to stop throwing money at education without accountability.

  • ladyblue Jul 18, 2007

    First 2 subjects messed up web

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
    http://tinyurl.com/zob77

  • ladyblue Jul 18, 2007

    WHY TEACHERS CANNOT GET A DECENT RAISE;
    12 billion dollars a year spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally
    http://transcripts:cnn.com?TRANSCRIPYs/0604/01/ldt.html
    17 Billion dollars a year for education for "anchor babies"
    90 Billion a year on illegal aliens welfare and social services
    Over 2 billion spend on food assistance such as food stamps, wic, and free school lunches for illegals http://www.cics.org/articles/224/fiscalexec.html
    How much do you think extra $111 Billion dollars could do for the education of this country? We average over 300 billion yearly for the complete consumption of our costs for having illegals here. That should be an eye opener. If webs are needed for proof I have more.

  • Uncle Ruckus Jul 18, 2007

    Revalidation's of property is going to start soon in Wake County. That could me a 50% plus increase in your property taxes, based on keeping the tax rate the same. This is what the School Board is really placing their bets on for next year. Beside, what ever happened to that $42 million dollar "slush" fund the WCPSS keeps?

    Don't forget folks, no real challenges, except for one, for getting rid of the current school board.

  • djofraleigh Jul 18, 2007

    "Teachers still get their 5% from the State which is more than "other" state employees get."

    Beginning teachers will get the full 5%, but an experienced teacher might be getting only 1%. That was the last I heard on here. They should have been state employees.

  • armada08 Jul 18, 2007

    I don't think anyone would be happy with whatever the school board did to help save money. If they decided to cut out magnet schools and stop bussing kids from Raleigh to Cary/Apex someone would find something to complain about. If they decided to stop all year round schools, because the courts said it was unconstitutional, and all our kids were in over-crowded classes, someone would find something to complain about.
    If you don't like what is happening in Wake County Schools then move somewhere else. Redistricting, moving kids around, cutting money here/there/everywhere-it has been going on for the 20+ years that I have lived here. Get over it! The board may have it's problems, but they are trying to do the best they can. If you think you can do better, I hope to see your name on the next ballot.

  • cjump Jul 17, 2007

    It is time for all teachers around the state to vote and certify a union to represent them. Not the NEA or the AFT but the Teamsters would be a good choice.

  • cjump Jul 17, 2007

    I know how they can save millions - GET RID OF THE STUPID EOG/EOC TESTS. Teachers can write their own test, have it peer reviewed for appropriate content and challenge, and the state and federal government can accept it or GTH.

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