August 17, 2017

Wake Schools prepares to make do with the budget it has

26 June 2017, 05:03 | Doyle Barker

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

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

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.

The district will get $21 million more in funding over a year ago, but that falls short of the $45 million increase the school system requested. At the moment, district officials made it clear that they do not have a plan.

Wake County schools will receive more than $430 million in county funding for the 2017-2018 school year, which accounts for 52 percent of the overall county budget.

School board Chairwoman Monika Johnson-Hostler said commissioners threw the school district a "curve ball" Monday.

"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.

Board member Jim Martin called for a third-party mediator to work with the school system and the county on budgeting issues. This isn't new to the school board.

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

Commissioners voted Monday to provide a $21 million increase with the majority saying they wanted to limit the size of this year's property tax increase, which will cost the average homeowner $39 more a year.

However, school administrators had pushed for a $45 million increase.

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.

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. "I am just here to say we can not put the blame on the state when we look at our own house and our own house is now only finally meeting growth plus inflation to 2010 and we have not met growth plus inflation pre-recession".

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