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Wake School Board approves budget

July 15, 2008 5:28:12 PM PDT
As Wake School leaders adopt next year's $319 million budget, they say there won't be enough money to maintain the status quo in Wake schools next year.

The Wake County School Board approved the budget Tuesday. However, few if any, leaders approve the bottom line.

"We're not maintaining the status quo," board member Lori Millberg said. "We'll lose. We'll lose things, it's not enough money just to cover our known cost increases and so we're losing things, we're cutting things, we're not going to be able to do things next year that we could do this year, and I think that's sad."

In the annual battle for dollars with Wake County commissioners, you could say school leaders came up tens of million of dollars short.

Wake Schools asked for $335 million, and they got $319 million. That means a number of ambitious programs won't be funded next year.

"I think what we're missing are those things that take us, as the expression goes, from good to great, and that's really the difference," board member Beverly Clark said.

Among those unfunded are expanded programs for academically gifted students and new foreign language classes for elementary school children.

New literacy coaches at all age levels will not be hired.

The amount of money school will have to buy instructional supplies will be cut. Some students will be impacted, according to the superintendent.

"There will be instances where class sizes will be larger and that certainly will have an impact," Superintendent Del Burns said.

"We will continue to be a very good school system with this budget, but can we move that next level?" asked Clark. "With this budget? No it isn't gonna happen."


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