Wake commissioners' budget falls about $24 million short of school system's request

Wake commissioners' budget falls about $24 million short of school system's request
Families, teachers wait to see where school budget cuts will fall
Author

26 June, 2017

The commissioners rectified the mistake Tuesday in voting to approve the $219.6 million county budget, which keeps the special district tax at its new revenue neutral rate of 20.18 cents per $100 in property value.

Opponents of Monday's vote, meanwhile, criticized the county commission's vote, noting a portion of the $5 million increase is drawn from the school system's capital construction funding. At the moment, district officials made it clear that they do not have a plan.

After enduring a year of hotter and dirtier schools, Wake County families and school employees are waiting to find out the impact of the next round of budget cuts. "We will balance to that number", said Superintendent Jim Merrill. "But, we are very clear that we are not sure how that is going to happen today", said Wake County school board Chairwoman Monika Johnson-Hostler.

School board members complained about a lack of trust they say commissioners have in how the district spends money.

"I am deeply concerned about the social worker, counselor, mediator, justice work that we are trying to do", said school board member Jim Martin.

School leaders said last year's cuts were needed, but County Commissioner Erv Portman disagreed.

School board members raised concerns Tuesday about how this year's funding from the county will affect the district's ability to educate all students, particularly those who need the most help.

Commissioner Barry Jacobs suggested they talk in the future about how to narrow the funding gap that the district tax creates between the school systems.

"Now is the time for us to really deal with this budget", said Commissioner John Wiley Price.

State lawmakers are aiming to send their budget to Gov. Roy Cooper by the end of the week.

"We have a decision from the county". Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App On Monday, the Wake County School Board learned the Wake County Board of Commissioners granted less than half of the budget boost it asked for in next year's operating budget.


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