Local News

Wake Schools Will Ask for $35M Budget Boost

Posted March 4, 2008

Wake County Public School System

— The Wake County school system Tuesday made public its 2008-09 budget, including a request for a $35 million increase – 11.6 percent – in the allocation from the county commissioners, to accommodate an expected increase of more than 6,000 students.

The boost would bring the county's piece of the schools' operating budget to $335.7 million. The state supplies 61 percent of the school costs, the county 33 percent and the federal government 6 percent. That puts the total budget for the next year at about $1.02 billion.

The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 would allocate $140 more in per-pupil spending, which Superintendent Del Burns said was approximately a 6 percent boost.

The budget is part of a package the school system calls the Plan for Student Success.

“Just to meet the needs of students currently in our schools requires millions of dollars in additional local funding for legislative staffing mandates,” Burns said in a statement. “That’s before we tackle elimination of the achievement gap or consider meeting the needs of 6,000 additional students and opening three new schools."

Burns also said the budget is part of a plan to raise students' performance and to close achievement gaps "between a child’s performance and potential -- both for our struggling and academically gifted students.”

The proposed budget allocates $16.4 million for the tree new elementary schools – Mills Park Elementary, Laurel Park Elementary and Sycamore Creek Elementary.

It allocates $10.1 million to meet state-mandated increases for existing staff.

The district said it also had found $8.3 million in savings from the 2007-08 budget, either making reductions or dropping items that were one-time.expenses in the current year.

In announcing the budget request, the system said it would soon announce what it's done to implement recommendations from a curriculum management audit that it commissioned.


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  • happymom Mar 6, 2008

    Yes, we had to consent (or not to in my case), but it was just as disruptive either way and it did not save any money or make the situation better. All it did was force families into difficult situations or force families like mine to have to remove their children from their neighborhood school and transport them half way across the county.

  • poohperson2000 Mar 5, 2008

    I think you need to calculate into your statistics how many seats are available in Wake County Schools, and how many students do we have (or project to have). It is going to cost allot more $ to create those seats if it means building, or expanding schools. I do not see where the money goes, because it does not always show in the classroom (not blaming the teacher), but then again I have not really looked at their actual expenses and done researh on how much money it takes to run a school district either. I can say it feels like we waste money, but until I actually look, I would never know.

  • Wheelman Mar 5, 2008

    The school budget is approximately $1.2 billion dollars. There are approximately 130,000 students in the system. If the classes average 25 students per class then it costs about $230,750.00 per year per class. No insult intended to the teacher who only gets a small part of this $230,750.00, but do you think you are getting much bang for your buck? I don't!This is what happens when your schools become a bureaucracy. It's ridiculous and I am tired of it as a taxpayer and a parent. I don't care if the schools are nice. I'm not interested in "nice" schools. I want effective ones, and bureaucracies aren't good at doing anything but lumbering along , consuming resources and producing less. I don't care how much other areas spend per student. We've already proven that spending more doesn't mean better! I don't pretend to have the answers, but there has to be a better way. My pocketbook can no longer sustain the attitudes of most elected officials, government and the bureaucracies.

  • wcnc Mar 5, 2008

    "Our property taxes are 55% allocated to the Education system"

    Actually, you may be surprised to find that the actual amount is closer to 75% of county taxes going to the schools. I don't have my property tax bills in front of me (it's tax time) so I don't know the exact breakdown, but it's on any property tax bill. Between building costs, bonds, operating costs, etc, it adds up to 75%....that leaves LITTLE else for the MANY other county funded departments.....

  • blackdog Mar 5, 2008

    ...get it from the Home Builders Association....

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Mar 5, 2008


    Like the United Way, the NC Ed Lottery has "expenses" and "administrative" fees. Just because it's being operated by the state doesn't mean it's without a full compliment of skimmers. The school system is corrupt to the bone. Why else would you pay $350.00 for an oil filter for a school bus or $6,000.00 for a portable television? Bottom line is, the children suffer in the absence of moral ethics and that includes honesty. Until people have the courage to "break the cycle" of corruption, nothing will change unless it means getting worse.


  • poohperson2000 Mar 5, 2008

    I do respect that some feel the system have failed their child, but I do wonder how parents with kids who are above average, are being failed. Until they acheive straight A's you really can not say that they have worked to their fullest potential. I know there is plenty out there for the AG students. The ones that are being failed by the system can not even pass, or are being passed when they should not.

  • poohperson2000 Mar 5, 2008


    People had to consent to YR, that is why the YR schools are under enrolled and some traditional schools have stayed over enrolled.

  • happymom Mar 5, 2008

    I thought the school system overestimated the numbers of kids that would enroll. Plus, all these YR schools aren't full. Wasn't that the point of the wide path of destruction WCPSS left behind with its switch to YR schools? If it YR was so ineffective at taking care of the overcrowding, can we all go back to normal schedules now? And didn't they ask for extra money for that too?

    Accountability, folks. This school system needs to have its feet held to fire and be made to account for some of its asinine actions.

  • trunkmonkee1971 Mar 5, 2008

    Money may help produce new schools and materials but money is not the issue with our public education system.