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Wake County School Board to consider changes

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Wake County School Board to consider budget and calendar changes for next school year (WTVD)

Budget concerns are still a problem for school systems around the state despite lawmakers' compromise on reducing class sizes.

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On Tuesday, the Wake County School Board is considering what changes need to be made for the next school year.

It comes a month after Wake County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Merrill requested $56 million more from Wake taxpayers for next year's school district budget.

RELATED: Wake Schools to ask for 14 percent funding increase

Armed with what he called, "best guesses," Merrill proposed a $1.6 billion budget to fund the district next school year. That includes a $467 million request to Wake County commissioners. That's $56 million more than last year, a 14 percent increase.

RELATED: Wake commissioners wrestle with school budget unknowns

According to Dr. Merrill's budget, the funds would be used for more counselors and social workers to meet national recommended student ratios, as well as for salary increases mandated by the state.

The funds would also be used to reduce class sizes in Kindergarten through 3rd grade due to new legislation.
Last week, state lawmakers passed a House Bill 13 compromise that continues reducing elementary school class sizes over the next two years, while addressing local concerns about keeping special subject-area teachers in the classroom.

The revised bill, however, phases in the class size requirements to go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year, leaving school district leaders, parents, and teachers concerned over how to fund the extra classroom teachers that would be needed.

RELATED: NC Senate passes HB13 compromise to lower K-3 class sizes

If approved Tuesday, the budget would go to Wake County Commissioners.

During Tuesday's meeting, the Wake County school board is also considering converting three year-round schools to traditional calendar schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

RELATED: Wake school board considers calendar changes

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