Wake County Schools

Wake voters to decide on school bond

Posted July 1, 2013 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2013 5:47 p.m. EDT

— Wake County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put an $810 million school bond on the fall ballot.

The bond money would pay for the construction of 16 schools and major renovations to six others.

School board members have said repeatedly that the bond will barely help the school system keep up with growth.

The student population in Wake County increases at a rate of 2.5 to 3 percent, or about 3,000 new students, each school year, and school officials have previously said 25 new schools are needed over the next 10 years.

In addition to the size of the bond, commissioners and school board members have squabbled over who would control the money and the school buildings themselves.

The Senate has passed legislation that would shift control of Wake County's public school buildings to the Board of Commissioners, but the bill has languished in a House committee for weeks.

A public hearing on the bond proposal is scheduled for July 15.

If approved, the bond would add 5 cents to the county property tax rate, or $75 for the owner of a $150,000 home.

In other business, commissioners voted to loan Marbles Kids Museum $700,000 to help build a new exhibit.

The museum received a $1 million grant from ABB Inc. last year to open Kid Grid, a hands-on exhibit about electricity production, distribution and use. The exhibit is scheduled to open next summer.

The county loan will be repaid over four years, starting in 2015.