Wake County Schools

Sequester a footnote in Wake schools budget proposal

Posted March 5, 2013

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— The uncertainty of federal sequestration and the Affordable Care Act, as well as changes to state unemployment compensation, are creating more questions than answers as the Wake County Public School System begins budget talks for next school year.

The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday heard Chief Business Officer David Neter outline the nearly $1.4 billion budget proposal, but the 306-page document doesn't account for an estimated $5 million reduction in federal funding due to sequestration.

He said certain parts of the budget were marked with footnotes about possible sequester impacts, but that there was too much uncertainty to make concrete cuts. 

Neter said there are also questions about costs associated with the federal Affordable Care Act and whether the school board will need to reserve funds for unemployment compensation after the General Assembly voted to slash jobless benefits last month. 

"There are a lot of difficult decisions ahead," Neter said. "We need to closely monitor events at the federal level and the state level, as there are a lot of question marks ahead."

David Neter Wake schools release $1.3 billion budget proposal

The school system plans to ask for a $8.3 million increase in county funding to help cover costs of expanding the district's magnet program, opening Rolesville High School and accommodating the influx of about 3,000 new students. 

With increased strain between the school board and county commissioners, however, board member John Tedesco said he isn't confident the county will agree to $8.3 million.

"Last year, when we were in a bit of a less contentious time, and we asked for $8 million for the first time in three years, they gave us half," he said. "Now we're at a more contentious time ... (and) the state's not making cuts like they did last year, so I don't anticipate them supporting that."

Board Chairman Keith Sutton, on the other hand, said he is hopeful that the school board can strike an agreement with commissioners.

"I'm hopeful we can work through our differences and not let that get in the way of what's needed for students in Wake County," he said.

The budget doesn't contain any layoffs or major cuts and does include salary increases for teachers.

Multiple budget work sessions and public hearings will be scheduled in the coming weeks to iron out details.

The board must adopt a budget by May 15, when it will go to the county commission for final approval.

17 Comments

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  • me2you Mar 7, 2013

    "Am I the only one confused here? What do the other 12,000 School employees do if not teach?"

    Typical person who has no ability to think. Do you seriously think it only takes teachers to create a school system? Ever seen a cafeteria worker, bus driver, plumber, electrician, janitor, secretary, finance, administrative worker, computer support, facility design, maintenance worker, auto mechanic, locksmith, elevator repairer, payroll, security, software support personnel, directors, warehouse worker, etc.? It takes a little more than a teacher to run the 15th largest school system in the U.S.

  • claygriffith01 Mar 6, 2013

    N&O article notes WCPSS has 18,000 employees and 150,000 students .... that's 1 employee for every 8.3 students. If class sizes are 25 students that requires only 6,000 teachers or 33% of the workforce.

    Am I the only one confused here? What do the other 12,000 School employees do if not teach?
    YouHaveGotToBeKidding

    You forget about the people that handle administrative tasks, janitorial staff, prepare lunch, etc.

  • yinyangtkdgirl Mar 6, 2013

    They prepare indoctrination pamphlets!

    Very funny!!

  • Conservative Mar 6, 2013

    Am I the only one confused here? What do the other 12,000 School employees do if not teach?
    YouHaveGotToBeKidding

    They prepare indoctrination pamphlets!

  • saturn5 Mar 6, 2013

    If the cuts are too much, why not just freeze spending at 2012 levels? Oh, right, even with the "cuts" we're spending more than 2012. Isn't political math great?

  • JustAName Mar 6, 2013

    People should be more upset with the thought that local and state services depend on Federal funding. We shouldn't need ANY funding from the Federal level. Remove that need in each state and you reduce the power from DC and give it back to the states, where it is supposed to be.

  • YouHaveGotToBeKidding Mar 6, 2013

    N&O article notes WCPSS has 18,000 employees and 150,000 students .... that's 1 employee for every 8.3 students. If class sizes are 25 students that requires only 6,000 teachers or 33% of the workforce.

    Am I the only one confused here? What do the other 12,000 School employees do if not teach?

  • Conservative Mar 6, 2013

    Tired of hearing about these miniscule cuts.
    aspenstreet1717

    They are not real cuts - i.e., they do not represent lower spending than what is there today. They are "cuts" in "increases".

  • WralCensorsAreBias Mar 6, 2013

    Pay attention to -whatelseisnew- he/she knows of which they speak. The Left isn't interested in anything except what THEY want and that certainly applies to the WCSB. The sad thing is that this same WCSB is about to have a real nightmare on it's hands and they aren't qualified or prepared to deal with it. Charters are opening in mass next year and thousands of current wcpss students will depart for a better future. The county schools are running out of money, tax payers are no longer willing to support these political stunts and those who perpetrate them, wasting millions on transportation for years has run it's course and reality says things will never be corrected until those in control face the facts. They are going to have to gut the school system of every ounce of bloat it can find and then they are going to have to toss it back at the parents so they can pick up a lot more of the tab. Are most parents going to like it? No, but that's the way of the future. Like it or not.

  • mep Mar 6, 2013

    What we see at the local level are the hallmarks of the Obama administration..... Debt (nearly $6 trillion of it), doubt (Obamacare costs, EPA regulation costs, and an endless barrage of anti-business propaganda) and of course despair (whats next?).

    Its about time the Wake county school system undergoes serious reforms and cuts.

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