Wake County school board approves $45.2 million budget increase proposal for 2017-18 school year
Posted May 2
Updated May 3
Cary, N.C. — Wake County school board members approved a budget proposal that included a request for an increase of $45.2 million for the 2017-18 school year.
The total county appropriation request is around $455.1 million.
The proposal now goes before the Wake County Board of Commissioners for consideration before the June 30 deadline.
"You have a board that feels very proud about the budget we are sending over and a budget we are committed to," said Monika Johnston-Hostler, Wake County board chair.
Board members said the increased budget will pay for the 2,200 new students expected to arrive in Wake County for the 2017-18 school year.
One member said she hopes the budget will allow bus drivers to receive a pay raise.
The budget requests $45 million more from the county compared to last year's request.
"We are pleased to reduce the local county appropriation request by $11.5 million to do this change," said Mark Winters, WCPSS finance officer.
A state law requiring smaller elementary school class sizes was set to take effect next year. School districts, including Wake County, said it would cost millions and some worried jobs could be lost.
In response, lawmakers passed a compromise.
"This will reduce class size requirements placed on school systems," Winters said.
The class size requirements will now be phased in over two years, saving the Wake County school district more than $11 million.
"I am very happy to be in support of this budget," board member Bill Fletcher said. "I look forward to working with the county commission to secure its funding."