WakeUP Wake County is celebrating “a few great successes that happened this week,” including the record $44.6 million increase in school funding approved by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
In an email to supporters Friday, WakeUP Wake Executive Director Karen Rindge said the group’s “persistence and advocacy paid off” as “our key issues came out on top, and we can enjoy some victories for Wake County!” Those victories involve school funding, transit and water quality.
“Schools and Teachers Gain: The Wake Board of Commissioners passed their 2016 budget with new, much needed funding for public school operations and salary increases for teachers, bus drivers and other important school personnel,” Rindge wrote. “Funding for the classroom has been in decline, good teachers have been leaving, and County Commissioners knew it was time to stop the bleeding.
“After intense negotiations, the County Commissioners voted 5-2 for a 3.65 cent property tax increase to meet important needs for our schools. WakeUP led the citizen effort to support higher funding in the County budget. Please THANK Wake County Commissioners for their leadership!”
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Rindge also asks people to thank state Senators – especially John Alexander and Dan Blue – for passing a budget amendment that restores Wake’s ability to hold a 1/2 cent sales tax referendum to fund future transit expansion. She said the Senate vote means Wake’s transit future is “saved.”
Rindge also urged people to thank Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the Raleigh City Council for budget measures that mean the area’s water quality is “protected.” Rindge points to how Raleigh’s budget increased funding to replace water and sewer pipes and to expand the water quality protection program for Falls Lake.