Wake County School Board approves budget plan for 2017-18

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

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County School Board Tuesday evening approved a budget plan with a $45 million request from the county for 2017-18.

Last month, Wake County Superintendent James Merrill was asking Wake County for a record $56 million increase in local funding to meet a state mandate about class sizes.

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However, a compromise was reached in the General Assembly on the class size issue that now phases in the limits over two years.

According to the budget plan, nearly $10 million in spending will increase the number of counselors and social workers in the schools.

More than $7 million will be spent to match a 3 percent state-legislated increase in salaries.

Another $7.2 million goes toward opening four new schools and renovating others.

In addition to the increasing the number of counselors, the budget also includes about half a million dollars to expand the Equity Affairs Office.

This came up after a series of racially charged incidents involving students at Wake Forest High School and Leesville Road Middle School.

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