Local News

Agreement Reached in Wake School Funding

Posted July 28, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Wake County Board of Education finally have reached a compromise regarding school funding from local funds. The agreement covers the 1997-98 budget year, and a budget process was also put in place for at least the next five years.

A statement submitted by J. Stewart Adcock, commission chairman, and Roxie Cash, board of education chairman, said the funding process agreed upon by the boards is designed to give the board of education the funds it needs while also providing accountability.

For the 1997-98 budget, schools will receive an additional $1.1 million, which will be added to the approximately $117 million already appropriated by the commissioners. The additional funds will address school system needs that are out of the board of education's control -- such as salary increases provided by the General Assembly, or growth in local student population that can be greater than provided for by the state.

For future years, the new process has been devised to provide adequate funding as well as align fiscal responsibility with the policy making responsibility held by the board of education. For the 1998-99 school budget, the base county appropriation to the schools will be $130 million, or equivalent to 35 cents of the county property tax rate, whichever is greater.

After fiscal year 1998-99, if the board of education determines that 35 cents of the tax rate is insufficient, it may ask that the education tax rate be increased. The county commissioners will levy the tax rate requested by the board of education, unless 2/3 of the county commissioners vote otherwise.

Five years down the road, the boards will review the process to modify it if need be.