Budget Update

The county commissioners approved their FY2018 budget on June 19th, giving WCPSS $21M in additional funds. This is less than half the amount the school system asked for. In spite of many citizens and groups like the Wake NCAE, Wake PTA and GSIW advocating for more funding, commissioners voted 5-2 for less than half of the school system’s stated need.

The school board approved their FY2018 budget on May 2nd, asking county commissioners for an increase of $45.2 million. Budget priorities include more funding for school counselors, social workers and nurses, funds for four new schools and renovations at aging schools, new magnet themes, pay increases for locally funded employees and bus drivers and increases for extra duty pay (academic and athletic coaches). The budget also includes an investment of $488,000 to expand the Office of Equity Affairs in response to recent and troubling racial incidents at several schools.

The county manager presented his budget proposal to the county commissioners on May 15th. His proposal included a $16M increase for schools, only 1/3 of the school system’s request. Jim Hartman, the county manager, says WCPSS should use their fund balance (or “rainy day fund”) to help meet their needs. Commissioners could either approve the county manager’s proposal as is or make adjustments to reduce or increase the allotment for WCPSS.

Great Schools In Wake & WakeUP Wake County supported an increase of $38M to fund five key proposals in the schools system budget request:

  1. $9.9 M to start a 3-year plan to hire school counselors & social workers at nationally recommended student ratios.
  2. $7.1 M  for salary increases to match an estimated 3 percent state-legislated salary increase for locally-funded employees.
  3. $2.5 M to fund the 3rd year of a 5-year plan to increase extra-duty pay for academic and athletic coaches.
  4. $2 M to create or revise magnet themes at Lincoln Heights Elementary, Bugg Elementary, Millbrook Elementary, & Southeast Raleigh High School.
  5. $500K to expand the Office of Equity Affairs to facilitate professional development for teachers and staff and develop strategies that foster respect, fair treatment and successful outcomes  for all students.

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

FY 2018 Budget Timeline:

  • April 4th, 2017- Superintendent Merrill presented his 2017-18 operating budget to the school board at their regular meeting.
  • April 18th, 2017- School Board held a public hearing on the proposed budget
  • May 2nd, 2017- School Board adopted 2017-18 budget
  • May 12th, 2017- Deadline for school board to pass their proposed budget to the county commissioners
  • May 15th, 2017- County manager presented budget to commissioners
  • June 5th, 2017- Commissioners held two public hearings on the budget; 2pm & 7pm
  • June 19th, 2017- Commissioners approved their FY 2018 budget

 The State Budget & WCPSS:

State funds impact local school districts too. NC lawmakers are close to passing the 2017-19 Biennial Budget. Some of the impacts to WCPSS are outlined 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