Wake schools superintendent unveils proposed budget

Wake Board of Education
The Wake County board of education. (File photo)

The Wake County Schools superintendent unveiled his proposed budget Tuesday evening that included $16 million to raise teacher salaries.

Superintendent Jim Merrill’s proposed budget asks for $1.4 billion for the fiscal year. That includes the $16 million to raise teacher salaries and also $5 million to open three new schools.

Read the proposed budget

Those schools are Abbotts Creek Elementary, Scotts Ridge Elementary and Apex Friendship High schools.

Merrill’s budget was released Tuesday at a school board meeting in Cary where he is asking for $2 million for expansion of pre-K program.

Last year, the Wake County Board of Commissioners opted to not give the system a $39 million budget increase. The board gave the schools system $10 million in 2014.

“It’s our responsibility to very clearly identify the needs of the schools. We do not get into how to fund the schools. That’s not our role,” Merrill said. “But clearly our role is to identify the needs.”

Merrill said one of his most important initiatives is to raise teacher’s salaries.

The proposed $16 million in Merrill’s budget is the first step of a 5-year plan, Merrill said. The plan will raise North Carolina’s teacher’s salaries to the national average.

The budget also requested $1.8 million to help phase out extra-duty pay to coaches. The pay scale many coaches are on was approved in 1987.

The Wake County School Board will review Merrill’s proposed budget in the coming weeks before sending it to county commissioners for approval.

The deadline to send it to the commissioners is May 15.

Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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