Education

Proposed Wake budget doesn't fund teacher raises

Posted May 19
Updated May 30

— Despite impassioned pleas from the public, Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann declined to fully fund a budget request from the Wake County Public School System in his proposed 2014-15 budget, which he presented to the Board of Commissioners on Monday.

The Board of Education last month approved a $1.37 billion operating budget for the coming school year, an increase of $39 million over 2013-14. Part of the proposed increase would pay for 3.5 percent raises for teachers and school staff.

Hartmann's spending plan calls for funding $10 million of the requested increase for area schools, which he said would be enough to cover operations and construction. He said he wants to wait to see how the legislature handles teacher raises before committing any county money toward it.

"I’m very much in support of having good schools," he said. "We just have to figure out how, as a community, to pay for this."

Hartmann said he has talked to Superintendent Jim Merrill about finding other resources to help boost salaries.

Meanwhile, he included a 2.75 percent raise for county employees in his $1 billion budget proposal, which upset school board Chairwoman Christine Kushner.

"I'm disappointed teachers, bus drivers, teacher assistants and other school employees are being asked to wait again for a pay increase, while county employees are in the budget for 2.75 percent increase, their fourth raise in past four years," Kushner said. "Teachers have had one 1.2 percent raise in last five years. They have been losing ground, and now we're losing teachers."

She added that she looks forward to talking further with county commissioners about the needs of the school system.

Two public hearings on the budget will be held next month before commissioners approve a final plan. Public comments may be emailed to budget@wakegov.com.

The new budget will take effect July 1.

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • krimson May 20, 3:27 p.m.

    How many raises did Bev and Mike give teachers? Not many.

    — Posted by byrdunc

    Compared to McCrony??? Yeah, you really have a winning argument there...

  • Grand Union May 20, 1:48 p.m.

    how about this idea: have ALL of the parents of ALL of the children attending WAKE and all NC... View More

    — Posted by RDcallsit

    What? Please show that they don't already. In any case education is not just paid for by parents its paid for by everyone, including me, who does not have any kids in Wake county schools.

    Those kids are the ones who will be paying for everything once you and I retire.....the better educated they are the better!

  • Grand Union May 20, 1:44 p.m.

    Wake county board is run by the GOP...who as the State Gov. has shown are not remotely interested in the success of its Public Schooling.

    Oh and its not just that there are no rises....since inflation is not zero, no rise means a real pay CUT each year. They would have to give all of them about a 15% rise just for them to be on the same salary they were on 8 years ago.

  • Plenty Coups May 20, 1:31 p.m.

    BadDayforButch-"However, the 2 Dem administrations before him rarely, if ever, gave the teachers anything yet the libs just loved those administrations."

    Your statement is completely false.

  • lopo May 20, 11:47 a.m.

    As a conservative I am a firm believer one must earn a pay check and one must earn a pay raise. It should not be automatic. But come on, there are good teachers that work hard with our children, they DESERVE a good raise.

  • Mee May 20, 11:22 a.m.

    Great. I've worked in public education in a support role for 15+ years. No raise of any kind in the last 7 years and the cost of EVERYTHING (food, gas, power, etc) has gone up. You do the math. Awesome. Thank you NC. FML

  • reallyguys May 20, 11:20 a.m.

    "teacher knew it when they choose their careers..." is no longer a suitable argument point. Teachers did not know that 8 years ago that they would only see one pay raise in their career.

  • krimson May 20, 10:45 a.m.

    "the majority of the public can't afford, and will not tolerate, any more taxes, as long as Obama and/or a liberal is in control of this country."

    What does that mean??? That you'll gladly pay taxes, even when you can't afford it, when its a Conservative in office???

    I'm glad that you're OK with continuing to curtail the real education and future of NC children in your neighborhood b/c you don't agree with the opinions of a person 500+ miles away in DC... Awesome!

  • BadDayforButch May 20, 9:57 a.m.

    The hypocrisy is endless here. Gov McCrory proposes a bonus for teachers to give up meaningless tenure in a non union state, proposes teacher pay raises etc etc and all of that is protested and denigrated. However, the 2 Dem administrations before him rarely, if ever, gave the teachers anything yet the libs just loved those administrations. It is not the county's responsibility to pay the teachers. It is their responsibility to pay their employees though. Just because this school board proposed a budget and sent it to the county doesn't mean they will automatically get what they are asking for. They never have because the school district has a history of asking for a lot more money than they really need. Maybe they should have discussed what they were going to propose with the County before going public with it. It may have been better received.

  • sunnyside May 20, 9:40 a.m.

    Hartmann played it smart. He's newly hired by a predominantly Republican Board of Commissioners. He's been on the job roughly one month. He's not going to stick his neck out for an issue that is frowned upon by those that just hired him. Especially when he can pass the buck back to the state where it belongs.

More...