Wake County Schools

Public feedback on Wake schools budget now set for Tuesday

Posted March 23, 2012 4:23 p.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2012 5:46 p.m. EDT

— The public can weigh in on the proposed 2012-13 budget for the Wake County Public School System at the school board's next meeting Tuesday evening, the district said Friday.

Comment on the $1.25 billion spending plan was originally scheduled for April 10, but the board moved up the date and time to March 27 at 5:30 p.m.

The school board had scheduled a vote on the budget for May 8, but it rescheduled the meeting to May 1 because North Carolina's primary election is also May 8.

The school board is also soliciting feedback on the district's website.

Among the spending priorities in Superintendent Tony Tata's budget is a 1 percent increase in teachers' base salaries and a one-time $500 bonus for most other school employees.

There are no proposed layoffs or job cuts and no changes to school and classroom staffing formulas.

Still, the budget is $24.3 million less than the current budget year, partly as a result of $28 million in expiring federal grants and an $8.6 million cut in state funding.

Tata's plan includes using $28 million of the system's nearly $34 million reserve to pay for recurring expenses.

He is also asking the Wake County Board of Commissioners to allot an extra $8.8 million – a 2.8-percent increase over the current budget.

The school board is holding a joint meeting with the commissioners on March 29.

"We're going to lay out our case and show that we have cut to the marrow of Wake County public schools," Tata said Thursday.

"We're going to present a case that we need that $8.8 million to invest in our people so that, in the fourth year of a very tough recession, we don’t have people walking away from us because some other places are providing higher pay or better options."