Wake Ed

Wake County Superintendent to present school budget plan

School funding will be the big topic coming from Tuesday’s Wake County school board meeting.

During the regular meeting, Superintendent Jim Merrill will present his proposed 2015-16 operating budget of more than $1.3 billion. One of the big questions will be how much the school system asks from the Democratic-controlled Wake County Board of Commissioners that has been outspoken about the need for increased school funding.

Last year, the school board backed Merrill’s request for a $39.3 million local funding increase. The then-Republican majority on the commissioners approved a $10.2 million increase.

A year later, Democrats hold all seven seats on the Board of Commissioners after accusing Republicans of having underfunded the school system. As recently as the March 16 work session, commissioners encouraged Merrill to include a funding request for teacher pay raises.

How much more the commissioners are actually willing to provide could be put to the test over the next several months.

Also on Tuesday, school administrators will present recommendations for changing the bell schedules for 10 schools this fall. Also during the work session, staff will give an update on major renovation projects and the search for land for a new elementary school in Holly Springs.