Families, teachers wait to see where school budget cuts will fall

Claudine Rigal
Juin 21, 2017

- Wake County school board members were gearing up to make tough decisions Tuesday evening after the budget approved by county commissioners for the next fiscal year did not fund their entire request.

School board members said they are unhappy about the funding they will receive and worry some of the initiatives they were excited about will not happen.

Calabria said he hopes the county and school district will be able to work closer together throughout the year to identify areas in need of more funding and to help get them the money they need in future budgets. "There can't be substantial progress until the relationship between the county commissioners and the Board of Education is founded in trust". That has dwindled over the years, and most of the department's money for 2018 will come from the county's general fund, he said.

"Capped values went from $6 billion the prior year to $14 billion", said Brown. "It wasn't as much of an increase as they had asked".

This year, the school board asked for a record $45.2 million increase to hire more counselors and social workers, increase pay for bus drivers, keep up with growth, offer new magnet school themes and expand the Office of Equity Affairs. "They should be able to tax their citizens". He says in the six years he has been on the board of education, he and his board members have been forced to cut back on the district's budget.

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

Several commissioners blamed lack of support from state lawmakers for the budget situation this year.

"This board and the school board are doing everything they can to fill in the breach, but we cannot continue to blame each each for problems caused by another body", said Burns.

Remarkably, some Wake residents urged commissioners to raise their taxes to fund the K-12 spending request, although others advocated for the county to hold the line on property taxes.

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