Wake Ed

WakeUP Wake lobbies for full school funding increase

WakeUP Wake County wants people to lobby county commissioners to fully fund the school system’s requested $48.3 million increase in local funding.

In an action alert email sent Wednesday, WakeUP Wake Executive Director Karen Rindge says people should speak at Monday’s budget public hearings or write letters to the editor in support of the $48.3 million funding increase. Rindge says people need to act because County Manager Jim Hartmann’s proposed $34.6 million school increase “does not fully fund the needs.”

“WakeUP believes that our County Commission needs to fund this entire budget request to keep our public schools top-quality,” Rindge writes. “Let's ask our leaders to take the financial steps to protect our quality of life, and keep our county one of the best places to live!”

Rindge’s email contains several talking points that people can use, including:

▪ ”Since 2008, we've seen a 12.7% increase in students, but local per pupil spending is down 4.2%.”

▪ ”The full school board funding request could be met with only 1 cent more property tax increase than the County Manager's 2.9 cent proposed increase, or about $27 per average Wake home.”

▪ ”The Board of Education would designate the majority of the funding increase for pay raises for all school employees, including teachers and support staff.”

▪ “Wake County's property taxes are low compared with surrounding counties.”

The Wake County Board of Commissioners will hold two budget public hearings Monday. The first one will be at 2 p.m. in the commission’s meeting room in the Wake County Justice Center, 300 S. Salisbury St. in Raleigh. The second hearing is at 7 p.m. in the Wake County Commons Building, 4011 Carya Dr. in Raleigh.