Wake Co. schools suspends driver’s ed program

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County Public School System announced Tuesday it is suspending driver’s education starting Friday due to lack of funding from the state.

Also Tuesday, leaders from the North Carolina Senate and House have agreed on how much money will be in the upcoming budget, although they have not reached a final agreement on how it will be spent.

The North Carolina budget will be $21.7 billion. But how the money will be spent remains to be decided.

Earlier in July, the Senate’s version of the budget did not include funding for driver’s education.

The House budget would have renewed last year’s $24.6 million spent on driver education.

“It was not an easy decision,” said David Neter, Wake County Schools finance director.

Neter laid out the bad news to board members Tuesday night, saying the program was suspended until further notice.

“We do not have a quarter million dollars of funding available to continue to provide this service,” Neter said.

About $250,000 a month subsidizes the program, not just for public students, but also for private, charter and home-schooled children.

“I don’t want our parents and teenagers to absolutely panic. I am hopeful that the state is going to do the right thing and fund this,” said Wake County School Board Member Tom Benton.

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