Budget Update

Commissioners approved a $45 million increase for WCPSS, $15 million more than the county manager originally proposed. Despite this generous increase, the school system still faces a $25 million funding gap. When the school board originally approved a request for a $48 million increase in local funding, school system staff didn’t yet fully realize the fiscal impacts of the state budget. After state lawmakers made state budget adjustments, WCPSS officials estimated their shortfall would actually be closer to $25 million. WCPSS staff and school board members communicated the additional needs to commissioners before their vote on the Wake FY2019 budget. Commissioners responded with a substantial increase but not enough to meet the WCPSS funding gap. The school board is now working to reconcile the shortfall and tough decisions will have to be made to fill the $25 million gap.

The school board approved their FY2019 budget on May 1st, asking county commissioners for an increase of $58.9 million. $48 million of the requested increase is needed to maintain the current level of service provided by WCPSS to students and teachers. An additional $11M would largely go toward hiring more school counselors, social workers and school psychologists plus enhancing Academically & Intellectually Gifted (AIG) programs. You can link to the budget overview & full budget here.

The county manager presented his proposed budget to commissioners on May 9th. His proposal includes a $30 million increase in school funding. As stated above, the school system says it needs $48 million more just to maintain current levels of service. Commissioners must vote on their budget, including school funding, on or before July 1st. Two public hearings were held on May 21st. Last year, many Wake citizens asked commissioners to fully fund the school system request but commissioners voted instead to give the school system less than half the requested increase. Citizens showed up again this year; the majority of whom asking for more funding for schools.

Great Schools In Wake supports full funding of the school system budget. Read our position statement here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter as we share the impact of the county budget on WCPSS.

FY 2019 Budget Timeline:

  • April 10th, 2018- Interim Superintendent Dr. Del Burns presented his 2018-19 operating budget to the school board at their regular meeting.
  • April 17th, 2018- School Board held a public hearing on the proposed budget
  • May 1st, 2018- School Board adopted 2018-19 budget
  • May 9th, 2018- County manager presents proposed budget to Commissioners
  • May 21st, 2018- Public Hearings on county budget, including school appropriation:
    • 2:00pm Wake Justice Center Board Room 2700, 301 S. McDowell St., Raleigh
    • 7:00pm Wake Government Commons Building, 4011 Carya Dr., Raleigh
  • May 22nd, 2018- Joint meeting between Commissioners and School Board, Crossroads II, 110 Corning Rd., Cary, Room 1400
  • May 30th, 2018- Commissioners work session on FY19 budget
  • June 4th, 2018- Commissioners vote on county budget

 The State Budget & WCPSS:

State funds greatly impact local school districts. The NC General Assembly has been pushing more and more funding burdens down to the county level since 2013. This is a big reason why WCPSS has made such large requests of County Commissioners in recent years. NC lawmakers’ 2017-19 Biennial Budget impact on school funding can be found here.

What’s the Budget Cycle?

  • The Superintendent shall prepare an annual budget and submit it with a budget message to the Board of Education (BOE) no later than April 15.
  • The BOE shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed budget prior to final action.
  • The BOE must submit the entire approved budget to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) not later than May 15 (or such later date as may be fixed by the BOC.) The BOC shall complete action on the school budget on or before July 1, or such later date as may be agreeable to the BOE.
  • If adoption of the budget is delayed until after July 1, the Board shall make interim appropriations for the purpose of paying salaries and the usual ordinary expenses of the school system for the interval between the beginning of the fiscal year and the adoption of the budget resolution.

 What You Can Do to Advocate for Funding in Future Years

  1. Be informed! Review the various proposed budgets from both the Wake Commissioners and the School Board.
  2. Speak up at Board of Education meetings and public hearings 
  3. Attend a Board of Commissioners budget presentation, participate in a public hearing