Local News

Wake school board approves '08-'09 budget

Posted July 15, 2008

— Nearly a month after it was forced to cut $39 million from its spending plan, the Wake County Board of Education unanimously approved its budget Tuesday for the school year.

The Board of Commissioners allotted the Wake County Public School System $319.2 million in its county budget for the 2008-2009 school year – nearly $36 million less than what the school board had requested.

Among items cut to accommodate the reduction were $543,600 in signing bonuses; $3.3 million for programs for academically gifted students; and $4.4 million for foreign language programs in elementary schools

The school system had asked for more than $355 million so that it could continue to provide its current level of services and programs for an estimated 6,000 additional students next school year, officials had said. About $25 million of that money would have gone to new education programs.

Although it did not get from the county what it had requested, the school system did get a 6 percent increase from the 2007-2008 school year allocation.

County money accounts for a third of the Wake school system's budget. The state supplies 61 percent, and the federal government provides 6 percent.

Those sources will bring the school system's budget to around $1 billion for the new fiscal year, which began July 1.


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  • spartanpirate Jul 16, 2008

    I agree with NERaleigh. Bussing is killing everyone. Use the money for something else and let the children go to the nearest school to them. If parents want to send their kids to another school then they should be responsible for getting them there, not our tax dollars.

    Illegals are not paying for their schooling. If someone is here illegally then they should have to pay $2,000 per year to send their kids to school. It is only fair that they pay their fair share of the costs of services to educate their children. Also, no ESL. They should speak english before they arrive in America. That is the language that is spoken here and we should no accomodate those that refuse to learn it before they come to our wonderful land.

    Wake County Board of Education is a joke. Get rid of the fat and educate our children.

  • Hevans1012 Jul 16, 2008

    WOW! $170 just to park at the school! Heck I park in downtown Raleigh 12 months a year and only pay $120 per year!

  • PTA mom Jul 16, 2008

    And they raised the student parking fees to $170 per spot on top of that!! I would love to know what my high school will be doing with the $68,000 they generate in parking fees this year. Who tracks and is accountable for the parking fee money?

  • charlesboyer Jul 16, 2008

    "Everyone SAYS that education is important, but NOBODY wishes to pay for it! Sad, very sad. Let us save even more money."

    First of all, your generalizations are an insult the hard-working families struggling to make ends meet as higher fuel prices, higher food prices, the highest overall inflation in 25 years cascades through the economy and yes, even higher taxes take more and more of a toll on their budgets. They, like many if not most Americans have had to cut back and trim their expenditures in order to tread water through the recession that this country is enduring.

    In light of that, the Wake County School System seems completely unable to recognize this, unable to willingly trim their own expenditures and in fact comes across like whining know-it-alls when the people say that they cannot bear to pay more money to a system that seemingly has no self-discipline and compunction when it comes to reaching into the public's pockets for yet even more money.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 16, 2008

    This is a game that the school board is playing with the county commissioners. They always cut visible programs to use the media to play games with the public.

    Until they make cuts in the fat in the administration office on Wake Forest Road, I will never believe that they are really making the needed cuts.

    A way to save a significant amount of money is to end the socio-economic (race) based busing and go back to neighborhood schools. They could then apply this savings to truly educating the kids of Wake County.

  • coolwill Jul 15, 2008

    Growth payees for it self. Maybe now they see how illegal immigration plays a part in the schools budget. People living in apartments with 2 plus that are here illegal don’t help the system even if they are anchor babies.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 15, 2008


    Please explain to me how 1 billion dollars being spent to operate the Wake County schools for 1 year is not paying for it? And that is not yet counting what we are paying to service the bond debt for building the schools. That is about another 150 million per year. So 1 County will spend close to 1.15 billion dollars in one year. And you have the gall to say we are not willing to pay for it? So what qualifies in your mind as "willing to pay for it"? 2 billion 3 billion 20 billion, whats the price tag? Truth is we are paying far far too much. Check the State and County budget. State is spending over 60 percent of a 21+ billion dollar budget on education. Wake County counting debt service is approximatley 75+ percent of its budget. We are paying too much.

  • NE Raleigh Jul 15, 2008

    How about cutting busing(fuel costs), ESL programs, F&RL Programs, and School Admin. WCPSS had no problem sacrificing student's progams and teacher's money.

  • teacher56 Jul 15, 2008

    WRAL's poll regarding the education budget is indicative of the mindset of the society we live in. Everyone SAYS that education is important, but NOBODY wishes to pay for it! Sad, very sad. Let us save even more money. Keep the kids home, let the parents come up with care for them while they go work and earn money for their summer homes and boats. Turn the schools into
    an online situation. Teachers can teach online. Let the parents figure out how to "motivate" junior to listen, etc. There will be no need for busing, free lunches, school supplies(parents will pay for all of it instead of teachers and the school system)and all will be blessed!

  • whatelseisnew Jul 15, 2008

    Perhaps you need to go back to school. 1 county, I repeat 1 county is going to spend almost 1 billion - I repeat almost 1 billion dollars to operate for 1 calendar year I repeat 1 calendar year. Of that 1 billion dollars the Feds provide 6 percent, which is mostly going to the lunch program that should not exist in the first place. So we could be spending the entire Federal budget in Iraq and it will have no effect on Wake County one way or the other. They actually have too much money. The real problem is operation and execution, both of which is substandard. If we want better and affordable schools, we need to close down the current system and create an entirely new system that is responsive to and provides choice for the students. The public system is a rotting corpse, it just needs to start stinking a bit more and perhaps people will wake up. In the meantime, hey send them a check if you think 1 billion dollars is not enough.