Local News

Wake Schools: Teachers Would Bear Brunt of Budget Cuts

Posted March 25, 2008

— Wake County teachers would have to forgo some pay increases and pay more for dental insurance if county leaders don't provide an extra $18 million in funding, officials said Tuesday.

School district administrators said three weeks ago that they would likely need an extra $35 million, an increase of 12 percent from last year, from the county commissioners for the 2008-09 school year, but they said Tuesday that they expect growth in the local tax base would provide almost half of that amount.

Administrators laid out a plan for school board members Tuesday that would shave more than $18.1 million from its request if there are no additional funds from the county.

The proposal calls for freezing local salary supplements for teachers, saving about $4.8 million; eliminating the employer portion of dental insurance premiums, $4.1 million; reducing maintenance, $2.5 million; and cutting $4.6 million in planned new programs for the coming year.

The scenario also would get rid of recruitment and signing bonuses.

“Any reduction will certainly impact schools,” said Donna Hargens, Wake County Schools chief academic officer.

The commissioners must approve the school budget after the school board approves it.

“It’s the annual budget dance, if I may call it. It’s much like Ground Hog Day,” said Joe Bryan, Wake County Board of Commissioners chair.

Bryan would not comment on specific possible cuts, saying he will wait to see the final budget proposal before discussing possibilities.

David Neter, Wake County Schools financial officer, wants to “keep the cuts away from the programs and away directly from the schools.”

“We know the teacher is a factor that makes the most difference in student achievement, so whenever you touch the teacher, you certainly impact instruction,” Hargens said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • dplowman Mar 27, 2008

    more money for the schools wow thats a new one.
    Why don't you take some of the money away a little farther up the ladder. School money is a sacred cow that will never go away.
    You say you need TA's to keep the children in line well through them out if they don't want to learn.
    But I forgot what a big buisness that school is for the politicians and whatever the school want's it will likely get.
    We have already proved that money will not help these children learn so why toss more out the window? I agree that teachers have a hard time with the class but if we could put a little but whacking back in the class maby the students would sit down and learn or move on. Education is not for everybody just as working with your hands is not for everyone. But in closing I think you could give the school board twenty times what they want and next year they would need more.

  • kittiboo Mar 26, 2008

    JAT, the reason we need Teacher Assistants (TAs) is because parents no longer do their job and teach kids how to behave. That becomes the job of the TA so that the teacher can teach without having to constantly discipline children (nevermind all the paperwork heaped on teachers in Wake County anymore). I am a TA and have been for years. I love my job, and let me tell you, I make NOTHING. And there are not ENOUGH TAs to go around, but the system can't afford to hire them.
    When we were little, we could be trusted to behave ourselves in class, in the cafeteria and on the playground. Nowadays, kids have NO respect for ANYONE, and that requires insanely high levels of supervision just to keep the peace.
    It SHOULD not be necessary to have so many TAs. But until society changes and parents reassume their role in teaching their children proper behavior, we will have to have them to get any learning at all accomplished.

  • Ksw1 Mar 26, 2008

    So now the school board wants the right to Raise Taxes in order to meet their financial needs:


    They (WCPSS) sight the term "fiscally independent school districts" in this explination as to why they need to have legislation changed in order to have taxing authority...

    I would encourage the the Wake County School System to consider whether or not the 90% of school systems called "fiscally independent school districts" are in fact "fiscally RESPONSIBLE"

    As a Parent and Wake County Tax Payer, I pledge to support your effort to change the current legislation and laws granting you taxing authority just as soon as you demonstrate that your "fiscally RESPONSIBLE".

  • Ksw1 Mar 26, 2008

    Forgive me if this point has already been raised in one of the other existing 168 posts to this thread-

    Am I the only one who noticed that there was no mention of a reduction in system administrative positions?

    Where can we find a listing of all of the "administrative" positions currently held - Anybody know?

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 26, 2008

    I totally agree with some of the other writers. They have an extremely large budget for the school system. They waste too much money on salaries of people that really don't have much to do with educating children. They are too top heavy, in my humble opinion.

    I have seen this over and over in the systems that I have worked. Some people are removed from the principalship for example; and moved to the Central Office for a job. Wake County residents should be tired of paying higher taxes. Teachers are attracted there because they pay very well in comparison to other counties. Keep paying the teachers. They have a tough life teaching some of the children today. Most are totally worn out at the end of the day. Been there done that.

  • wcnc Mar 26, 2008

    "And I put my child in one because I loved her - she needed more stimulation and education than I could provide."

    Don't under- rate yourself!! Anyone who didn't complete college can educate a preschooler!! ABC's, numbers, colors, etc. Don't buy into society telling you that you (who LOVES their child) can't do enough for them and that a paid worker (who can't love your child as much as you do AND probably didn't go to college)aren't good enough for your child.

    But, that is off topic.....or is it?? Have we given up on our own kids so much that we think we aren't good enough for them and that the almighty "schools" know better?? Teachers are great and needed, but don't let an administration, who has not met your child, tell you that THEY know what is best!! You, the parent, knows what is best- and more money is NOT it!!

  • poohperson2000 Mar 26, 2008


    Most people will not get a raise this year that covers the increase in cost of living. That is was a slowing economy or recession does. It is not just state employees that will suffer that fate. AND if you footed all the bill for your dental insurance, there would be no point in having it, you might as well just pay the bill.

  • poohperson2000 Mar 26, 2008


    I never said it was FUN.. It is not the teachers job's to discipline these kids. We have tied there hands so they can not. Teaching your child to behave and making sure there are reprocussions at home if they do not, is yet another parent responsibility. The teachers did not birth your child or mine. There job is not to raise them, their job is to educate them. Our job is to cloth them, feed them, send them rested and preparded, and to reinforce the school rules at home. All the teacher can really do to the kids is let the parents know of the issues, take away school privledges.

  • OhYea Mar 26, 2008

    shamrock - I think you will find most scholarships are merit or needs based whereas some programs for teachers are not. All you have to do is say "I want to be a teacher", then take your job for life.

  • shamrock72 Mar 26, 2008

    There are scholarships out there for many students, not just teachers. Lots of kids can get a free college education other than teachers.