Wake County schools approve $1.5 billion budget
Posted May 3
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County school board has unanimously approved a $1.5 billion budget for the 2016-2017 school year.
The budget, which was first proposed in March, includes an increase of $35.7 million in local funding. School officials said 75 percent of that increase is dictated by enrollment growth, prior commitments and the effect of recent legislative decisions.
The Wake County Public Schools System gets about 59 percent of its funding from the state and 29 percent from Wake County. Additional money comes from state and local sources.
The budget will now go before the Wake County Board of Commissioners for consideration. The district has requested about $421.7 million from the county. Legislators are scheduled to approve a county budget, including the contribution to the school system, on June 20.
School officials said that even though local county appropriations have increased since 2008, state funding is down 1.9 percent and federal funding is down 1.6 percent. That means that total per-pupil funding is still lower than it was eight years ago, making it difficult for the district to keep pace with student population growth.
“One thing that challenges us or constrains us is, we have to request so much funding just to keep up with growth,” said Wake County Public School System chief business officer David Neter. “Eighty percent of the request to the county for additional funding is not for new or expanding programs, but it is for the growth.”