Finances and budgets will be a big part of today’s Wake County school board meeting as district leaders consider a plan to offer hiring bonuses to recruit new teachers to fill hard-to-fill positions for the 2014-15 school year.
During the work session, school administrators will brief the board on offering an “incentive bonus” of $1,500 for new special-education teachers and $1,000 for new teachers in math, science, health occupations and family & consumer science. The bonuses would be split into two increments that would be paid out if the new teacher is still in the district this September and next February.
The plan would cost $898,000 and come out of savings in this year’s budget. If approved at today’s regular meeting, the money would be put into an account for the 2014-15 budget. Wake used to offer these kinds of bonuses before the recession.
Speaking of the budget, the board will begin reviewing it during the work session. The discussion could indicate whether board members are leaning toward increasing, leaving alone or even reducing the $39 million increase that Superintendent Jim Merrill wants to request from the county commissioners.
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The public hearing on the budget will come during today’s regular meeting. Historically there’s little or no comment during the public hearing. But that may change based on the scope of Merrill’s budget proposal.
In addition to budget matters, today’s work session will include a presentation of data analyzing college-going rates in the district. It’s part of research being conducted by Harvard University Fellows.
Staff will also present the annual suspension report. You could see more of an explanation on why short-term suspensions and rates went up in Wake last school year at a time when it dropped statewide.