Wake County Schools figuring out $29 million budget shortfall

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Cuts may have to be made but the school system plans to seek more money first.

Wake County School Board members are weighing options to close a $29 million budget shortfall.

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In its proposed $1.6 billion budget, the school board needed an increase in funding of $45 million from Wake County Commissioners. Commissioners said they could only increase this year's funding by $21 million and placed the blame on state lawmakers for not being able to give more.

WCPSS Board Members React to County Decision

In Tuesday's work session, members of the school districts finance team gave the board some options to consider in making up the funding.

Those options include cutting the transportation budget by $3 million. They said they could make that cut because of their inability to hire staff.

They're also asking the board to consider delaying extra duty salary by one year and eliminated the plan to hire more school counselors. Beefing up the counselor staff as well as the equity affairs office were part of major goals from the school system in light of several incidents surrounding race in schools.

Improving Race Relations

Though the school district is still getting more money from the county than it did last year, it's also coming from dealing with a budget shortfall last year.

Dealing with Budget Shortfall Last Year

"What we asked for seemed like extra, and I think what we're saying is these things aren't extra," said Wake County School Board Chairwoman Monika Johnson-Hostler. "These are things that again, back to our capacity, we've done things one way for a long time, but it's just like a new iPhone, there's something new. That doesn't mean the old phone doesn't work. It means we now know a better way to meet the needs of every student."

No decisions were made Tuesday night. The board will discuss its options again at its August 1 meeting.
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educationwake county schoolsbudgetRaleigh
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