Wake County school board struggles with funding gap

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The Wake County School Board spent Tuesday talking about possible ways to handle a potential funding gap in the proposed operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Officials said the state's per-student funding has dropped by about two percent over the last seven years, but student enrollment has climbed 14 percent.

The board is now looking to Wake County commissioners for help. It says the proposed county budget it nearly 412 million less than they need to maintain programs and cover the costs of growth.

The board presented a list of options if they can't get the funding they need:

Reduce Services

Possible examples: increase class sizes, stop providing transportation for students grandfathered under the school choice assignment plan, reduce facility cleanings by one day a week, reduce professional development opportunities, reduce funding for instructional supplies, change the temperatures in our facilities to reduce heating/cooling costs

Cut Programs

Possible examples: reduce or eliminate the use of after school activity buses, delay the scheduled rollout of 10,000 new technology devices for students, delay year 2 phase-in of increases to performance pay for teachers who take on extra academic and athletic duties

Increase fees for students and staff

Possible examples: increase school parking fees, require students to pay a fee to participate in extracurricular activities (including athletics), increase employees' dental premiums

The board said it hopes to avoid any of the above options.

More on the budget can be seen at: http://www.wcpss.net/budget

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