Wake Ed

Wake County school board to vote on budget and bell schedules

Budgets, bell schedules, spot nodes, school calendars, weather makeup days and grading are among the items on today’s Wake County school board agenda.

The school board is scheduled to have the second, and apparently final, work session on Superintendent Jim Merrill’s $1.3 billion operating budget proposal. The board is then scheduled to adopt the budget proposal at the regular meeting.

If the board follows the agenda, the board will have had two 1-hour discussions at work sessions before signing off on a request to ask the Wake County Board of Commissioners for a $39.3 million increase, most of which would go toward employee pay raises.

The prior board had been accused of not spending enough time reviewing the budget, especially when deciding on cuts. This new budget calls for expansion of services.

Also during the work session, the board will get the 2014-15 bell schedule recommendations before the vote scheduled for the regular meeting. Click here for a prior blog post.

A work session topic called “future housing development school assignments for the 2014-2015 school year” could be a nicer way of saying bringing back spot nodes. If so, it would mean that Wake would identify new subdivisions in high-growth areas where lots haven’t been sold yet and assign them to a different school than the adjoining communities.

There’s also calendar talk at the work session. Staff will discuss the 2014-15 calendars for the early colleges, leadership academic and Vernon Malone College and Career Academy and the 2015-16 school calendars for traditional, multi-track year-round and modified-calendar schools.

The final work session item is on weather makeup days, which could mean some announced for this year are changed.

During the regular meeting, the board will have first reading on a revised grading policy. Changes include require schools to develop a graderecovery policy for struggling students. This is being done in lieu of banning teachers from issuing zeros.