Wake Ed

Wake County athletic coaches may lose raises due to budget gap

Apex High School coach Robert Graham talks to his players in a time out during the football game with Apex Friendship High School on Sept. 30, 2016, in Apex , N.C.
Apex High School coach Robert Graham talks to his players in a time out during the football game with Apex Friendship High School on Sept. 30, 2016, in Apex , N.C. newsobserver.com

Wake County athletic and academic coaches could find out as soon as today if planned raises will be nixed this year to help close a budget gap.

Wake school administrators had previously listed the $2.6 million in raises for extra-duty pay as among the options that the school board could use to close a $28.8 million budget gap. At Tuesday’s work session, staff will ask for the board’s feedback on what adjustments to make to the budget.

The school district has to cut $28.8 million from its $1.6 billion operating budget after getting less than what it wanted from the Wake County Board of Commissioners and to cope with changes in state funding.

Commissioner gave the school board a $21 million increase this year. But the school district wanted $45.2 million. School officials say the increase isn’t enough because Wake has to deal with inflation and growth while also looking to start new programs.

School finance staff have identified $14.9 million that can be cut from the budget, such as dipping further into the district’s reserves and cutting vacant positions in the transportation department. That leaves $13.9 million to cut with the extra-duty raises and $10 million for new school counselors and social workers as options.

Also on the agenda Tuesday is staff’s plan to change the process for families to apply for year-round schools and to request transfers. Families will go back to applying for year-round schools the same time that magnet school applications are submitted.

Staff also want to push up the timeline for when transfers can be requested and when people can appeal rejected requests to the school board.

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