Asking for a big funding increase to raise Wake County school employee pay

Posted by T. Keung Hui on March 18, 2014 

Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill isn’t being shy about asking for what he wants from the county commissioners.

In the 2014-15 budget proposal presented today, Merrill is asking the commissioners for $365.7 million – a $39 million increase in the current appropriation. Most of that increase – $29.1 million – would go toward providing all school employees a 3.5 percent local pay raise.

Other items in the budget proposal include $1.8 million to expand pre-kindergarten services, $1.7 million in additional funding for high-poverty elementary schools, $930,000 to hire more literacy coaches to work with teachers and $304,000 to hire intervention counselors at high schools where the graduation rate is below 80 percent.

"I know that this community is willing to stand up and support this system’s needs,” Merrill said as he introduced the budget.

But what’s not in the budget is funding to continue the Renaissance Schools program once the federal Race to the Top grant money runs out at the end of the school year. While the schools will keep the additional technology and staff training they got, they will lose the teacher merit pay program and the additional staffing they had received.

It’s possible that the Renaissance Schools might qualify for some of that $1.7 million pot for high-poverty schools, but there’s no guarantee.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service