Wake schools look to cut $15 million in costs
Posted June 21, 2016
Updated June 22, 2016
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County Public School System approved an interim budget Tuesday night as they continue to wait on state legislators to determine how much funding the district will receive for the 2016-2017 school year.
School officials said that the interim budget will keep the district operational past the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. The budget will be finalized once members of the General Assembly determine state funding levels for schools and approve a budget, the district said.
The proposed Wake County budget increases funding to schools, but there is an $11.8 million gap between the $35.7 million the district requested and the $23.9 million increase proposed by the county.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve a $1.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Commissioner Betty Lou Ward tried to add $5 million to the budget to help the Wake County Public School System to deal with growth, but her motion failed 2-5.
“We know that we will not receive enough local funding to cover the cost of growth, legislative impacts, and maintaining current programs,” school officials said in a press release.
The district said staff members are currently looking to identify ways to cut about $15 million in costs from their proposed $1.5 billion budget.
“Over the next several weeks, our staff will develop a list of possible options to close the funding gap,” school officials said. “We are already a very lean and efficient organization, so virtually any cut affects classrooms.”
School officials said they do not anticipate any layoffs as part of their cost cutting measures.
Staff members are expected to present a list of possible budget cuts to the school board at the July 19 meeting.
If the General Assembly approves a state spending plan by June 30, the district expects to finalize their budget in August.