CARY — Wake County schools will likely lose about $5.5 million in operating funds based on the new state budget nearing approval in the General Assembly, the schools chief financial officer told school board members Tuesday.
Cuts in instructional support, classroom teachers and teaching assistants will be partly offset by roughly $35 million in discretionary funding that had been held back by the state in recent years, but will be supplied in the new fiscal year, said David Neter, chief business officer.
Schools administrators said they will attempt to adjust funding from other sources to prevent overall losses in classroom positions. The system gets roughly $700 million from the state, with the rest from county and federal sources.
"Its one more funding reduction," Neter said.
Noting that Wakes annual per-pupil spending has declined steadily in recent years, board member Bill Fletcher asked whether the latest state cuts would reduce that figure further.
Neter said its likely: the rough figure of a $5.5 million cut, combined with a projected increase of thousands of students would bring that result. However, the system has to wait for its specific allotment from the state Department of Public Instruction to give exact figures.
The budget includes increases in payments for students to take ACT tests and for school security. Board member Deborah Prickett applauded the money for testing.
"That has helped so many students, especially in rural parts of the state, for kids that just dont have the money to take that kind of test," Prickett said.
One of the most potentially troublesome parts of the budget for Wake is the lack of a raise for teachers, whose pay has been increased only once, by 1.2 percent, since 2008.
"When you figure inflation in, theyre making less than they did in 2008," Neter said.