Wake County school leaders OK budget with $17 million in cuts

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Schools won’t be cleaned as often — and that’s not the only change  — as Wake County’s School Board makes $17 million in cuts.

The board voted on the plan Tuesday night.

What received a lot of parents’ attention is this issue of cleaning the schools.

After hearing from those parents, board members made some changes.

It’s the final days of summer at Pullen Park as kids get ready to head back to school.

But, some parents are concerned about some changes they’ll notice this year.

Crystal Richards’ daughter will be starting 10th grade at Broughton High School.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s hard. They need to consider the kids,” she said.

As part of a plan to close a $17 million budget gap Wake County Schools will cut back on cleaning.

Elementary schools will be cleaned every other weekday while middle and high schools will twice a week.

“That is a bother because you’re looking at the winter season. You’ve got the cold and the flu and the germs and things of that nature,” Richards said.

Board members considered cutting cleaning at elementary schools to just two days a week as well… but changed that after hearing from the community.

Board Chairman Tom Benton says the cuts apply primarily to sweeping and vacuuming.

“Bathrooms are cleaned every day, sometimes multiple times. There’s always custodians on staff to clean up any accidents or spills,” Benton said.

That’s not the only cut.     Jobs at the central office will sit vacant for 90 days.

Temperatures in the schools will be adjusted by a degree to cut energy costs.

And, funding for supplies will be cut.

“We haven’t put things in here where we have put fluff in expecting a cut. So, when we got to having to make actual cuts, it became extremely difficult,” Benton said.

The budget approved Tuesday night does not call for any job cuts or layoffs.       Instead, teachers and employees are getting raises.

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