Local News

Wake school system's financial future uncertain

Posted February 18, 2009

— The sagging economy has left Wake County school board members and county commissioners with a complicated budget equation that equals big question marks for the future of the county and its students.

At a joint meeting Tuesday, members of both boards saw how much the economy has thrown off predictions for spending and how much money the school system still owes on other projects and bonds.

"Everybody is having to respond differently to the current economics," Wake County Manager David Cooke said. "It's no different for the county or the school system. We don't have the revenues we've had in the past, and it requires us to change things."

School board members say the economy has thrown off projections for school population growth dramatically because those predictions were forecast during a good economy.

Superintendent Del Burns said the school system no longer expects school enrollment to increase as fast, especially at the elementary level.

"Usually, we anticipate more growth in a good economy, less in a bad economy," Burns said.

School board chairwoman Rosa Gill said the school system might not recover for the next three years.

Cooke said projections for the county are also off.

"We estimated sales tax and property taxes would continue to increase, and now that’s not true," he said. "If we adjust for those predicted drops, the cumulative 10-year effect will be a loss of $182 million. We won’t be able to move ahead on all projects"


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • kmb0694 Feb 19, 2009

    off topic, but did anyone catch the interview with Rosa Gill last week? She said her grandson is turning 5 in Aug and will be starting K in Aug. Uh, doesn't he have to be 5 before 8-1-09?

  • missparrothead Feb 19, 2009

    oh, but the education lottery is going to solve all.

    yeah, right...what a buncha crooks.

  • dlb800 Feb 19, 2009

    With all the wasting and scandals that have gone on, why is this surprising? They are trustees with our money, and they blew it. They SHOULD all be fired. Start over!

  • dcatz Feb 19, 2009

    Eliminate Wake County Schools altogether and then eliminate property tax. People can use the money they save on property tax to send their children to private schools.

    The government should not be in the business of schooling children. The government's function should be restricted to protecting fundamental rights as stated in the constitution and to enforcing contracts.

  • Mommyoftwo Feb 19, 2009

    This is not only wasted money on bussing...it is also wasted money in Adminsitration. A few posts ago someone asked why they aren't making the "hard cuts". Because if they did they would see how bloated they really have become and how much money could really be saved! They add Senior Adminsitrator positions and higher like they actually need them when in fact they don't. PLEASE!!! Look at the Job Description of the Finance Manager and then look at the Chief Business Officer...tell me where the difference is....or maybe look at all the Directors in Maintenance and Operations...or look at the Sr. Admin. and higher in Human Resources and see where they REALLY should be paid...

    Tough choices aren't so tough when you don't have the funding and you aer trying to make sure the people in Wake County will support you. Let us see some REAL changes and MAYBE we'll have more trust in you WCPSS!

  • MisunderstoodMind Feb 19, 2009

    "However,the number of students who cannot perform at grade-level remains the same. But with libs, the only thing that matters is showing how much they care rather than showing results."

    To be blunt some children will NEVER be on grade level. A developmentally delyed or AU child will always require intervention. HOWEVER, right wingers think EVERYONE should be on grade level. Tell me, colliedave, do you take this into account? Prolly not. All you see is schools not making precious AYP. In addition, ALL students in NC now HAVE to pass algebra to graduate. Try telling the mother of a low functioning child he will NEVER graduate. Add into that the state board believes the only self-contained rooms we should have are for life skills and we have a recipe for disaster.

    NCLB (Nations Conservatives Legislate Bull) has destroyed our educational system. WCPSS gets MONEY for busing. Bush gave perks sys setting up magnet schools. WCPSS went too far. Plan didn't go well with increased gas $$.

  • yeah Feb 19, 2009

    The year-round schools are not full. There are empty classrooms yet the school is open and operating every day (including Saturdays for make-up days and some Holidays. They wasted millions of dollars converting schools to year-round and continue to operate the schools all summer and the attendance numbers do not justify the waste.

  • WHEEL Feb 19, 2009

    Looks like the readers have it pretty well figured out. When is Rosa Gill going to get the message.

  • PaulRevere Feb 18, 2009

    What about that bond that was passed 2 years ago? Deal with it WCPSS...like all of us have to do! And stop bussing across the county and stop "educating" illegals!

  • Inspired Feb 18, 2009

    get your kids out of the public schools people.