Wake County school leaders talk about budget and bell schedules

File photo of The Wake County School Board meeting in February 2017. Photo by Michael Hyland/CBS North Carolina

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County school board heard on Tuesday night from Superintendent James Merrill about his $1.6 billion budget for the next school year.

The Superintendent included in that budget a local increase of $56.6 million in order to maintain the status quo facing “continued growth and a loss of state funding”.

Merrill also spoke of potential risks that could impact any request including what the General Assembly does and what happens with the Affordable Care Act.

The expectation is to present the board’s budget to the county by mid-May and have it adopted by the end of June.

The board also took action on a few items.

This included the debated bell schedule changes for five schools that became only four schools when the board dropped North Forest Pines Elementary from its plans.

Parents complained in the past about changing that school’s time because it would apparently double the carpool traffic if its schedule mirrored that of its neighboring school.

The rest of the schools now have new bell schedules for the 2017-2018 school year.

Apex High and Heritage Elementary will start later next school year. Apex Elementary and Wake Forest Middle will start earlier.

The board also approved as a retention measure a one-time bonus to all current bus drivers if they continue to drive for the school system through the end of the school year.


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