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Wake Schools Looking at Limit on Reserve Funds

Posted November 6, 2007

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— Wake County's school board is considering a proposed policy that could give back extra funds to the county commissioners every year if the schools had more than a certain amount in their reserve account, the school district said in a statement Tuesday.

The proposal comes after the Board of Education and the Wake County Commissioners were on opposite sides of a funding dispute about converting several schools to year-round schedules, a move the district hoped would help ease overcrowding.

The move also comes a day after school officials said that the downturn in the housing market seems to have slowed the growth in  the student population to a slower-than-expected rate.

The proposal, which schools Chief Business Officer David Neter submitted to the board, would keep the district's "undesignated operating fund balance" to 6 percent of the following year's appropriation from the county commissioners. If, for example, the district's appropriation was $300 million for a year, the reserve fund would not be more than $18 million.

The policy, if approved, also would return anything above 6 percent to the county and would limit spending on the following year's budget to half of the fund balance.

The board is to vote on the policy Nov. 20, the district said.

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