Wake County budget provides $430M for schools, some officials say more money needed

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Monday, the Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to give the school district around $21 million more in funding than the district received last year. In total, the school district will get about $430 million from the county, but school officials say it’s still not enough.

RELATED: Wake County leaders approve budget in 5-2 vote

“I’m highly disappointed,” said Jim Martin.

Martin is a member of the Wake County Board of Education. He says in the six years he has been on the board of education, he and his board members have been forced to cut back on the district’s budget.

“There’s basically no dollars available to do the initiatives we laid out to try and begin to meet the goals of the strategic plans,” said Martin.

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With about 2,000 more students expected in Wake County Public School System schools next year, Martin says the school district needed about $45 million more than the district received in last year’s budget.

The county voted to give the school district less than half of that request.

However, Wake County Schools already gets more than half of the county’s budget, and the county is increasing taxes this year to afford the budget.

“This process is always a very complicated process. And the best you can, is the best you can do,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair, Matt Calabria.

Calabria pushed, and was able to get, Wake Schools $5 million more than originally budgeted for next year.

Calabria said he hopes the county and school district will be able to work closer together throughout the year to identify areas in need of more funding and to help get them the money they need in future budgets.

“We know [Wake County Schools] have a lot of needs, and we know we [Wake County] have a lot of catching up to do,” said Calabria.

WCPSS officials meets Tuesday and said they will discuss the budget then.

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