Wake Ed

Wake County school board to discuss amending budget proposal

Long-time Carnage Magnet Middle School custodian Joseph Gordon, 75, returns a vacuum cleaner to the custodial maintenance room Friday morning, April 15, 2016 while working at the 1100 student 6-8th grade school in southeast Raleigh. It would cost $7.3 million to restore full custodial service to Wake County schools.
Long-time Carnage Magnet Middle School custodian Joseph Gordon, 75, returns a vacuum cleaner to the custodial maintenance room Friday morning, April 15, 2016 while working at the 1100 student 6-8th grade school in southeast Raleigh. It would cost $7.3 million to restore full custodial service to Wake County schools. hlynch@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board will discuss Tuesday whether to change Superintendent Jim Merrill’s budget proposal and review a potential new configuration for school board advisory councils.

The agenda for Tuesday’s work session includes a discussion on ideas raised earlier this month about changing Merrill’s 2016-17 budget to include other items. It could cost $16 million to fund the various items suggested by the board at the April 5 work session. For instance:

▪ Restore full custodial services at all schools – $7.3 million

▪ Increase K-2 literacy coaches to full-time positions – $3.4 million

▪ Increase full-time elementary school instructional resource teachers – $3.4 million

▪ Increase full-time elementary school intervention teachers – $1.6 million

▪ Increase allocations for school counselors in elementary and/or schools with underpeforming students – $337,127

The board could fund those items by removing other items from the $1.5 billion operating budget or by adding on to Merrill’s request for $35.7 million more from the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Other work-session topics include:

▪ Adding a ninth area superintendent to help oversee all 176 schools this fall. Wake is also looking at realigning the schools represented by each school board member’s board advisory council. The change is happening because the General Assembly rewrote the election maps for the school board.

▪ A presentation on how the district is attempting to meet the achievement objective in the strategic plan.

The agenda for the regular meeting has no items on the action agenda before the board’s closed session. Consent-agenda items include:

▪ Adopting 2016-17 calendars for Wake Leadership Academies, Wake STEM Early College, Wake Early College of Health and Science, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy;

▪ Adopting 2017-18 calendars for traditional, year-round and modified-calendar schools;

▪ Renaming the auditorium at Zebulon Middle School after African-American leader James Shepard. Back when Zebulon Middle was a high school, it used to be named after Shepard. One of the middle schools in Durham is also named after Shepard.

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