Local News

Wake School Board Threatens Suit Against Commissioners

Posted June 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The Wake County School Board says its 1997 budget simply won't work, and board members are fighting for millions of extra dollars.

In a move that's the first of its kind, the school board is threatening to sue the county commissioners to get the money it says it needs.

Green Elementary School in Raleigh has a problem. Principal Caroline Massengill pointed out two first-grade classrooms adjacent to each other -- without a wall separating them. She's upset by funding problems in Wake County schools.

Massengill's school needs walls. It is just one project in one school, but there is no money for it. Dr. John Gilbert, a school board member, says the money that the county is setting aside for schools just will not do.

In an historic move this afternoon, the school board voted to challange the county commisssioners. That will force the county to sit down and try to iron out the numbers.

Stewart Adcock, chairman of the Wake County commissioners, responded this afternoon saying, "I don't think we can ever furnish them all they want. They should be able to work with what we gave them. There's a big difference between what they want and what they need."

But you can't convince the principal at Green Elementary that she doesn't need walls.

School board members say that if a compromise is not reached, it is likely that the school board will take the county commissioners to court.