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Wake County school board member asking for more money to eliminate cut in instructional supplies and to increase school cleaning

The Wake County school board could ask county commissioners for an even bigger funding increase than now is on the table to avoid cutting school supplies and to increase custodial services at schools.

The proposed budget from Superintendent Tony Tata includes asking commissioners for an $8.8 million funding increase for the 2012-13 fiscal year. School board chairman Kevin Hill proposed today also asking commissioners for enough money to eliminate a potential $2 million cut in school supplies and to cover an amount to be determined to increase custodial services.

Hill cited the impact on classrooms by cutting $13.96 per student for instructional supplies and the health gains from increasing cleaning at schools. The school system had cut back on custodial services for this fiscal year.

1335306644 Wake County school board member asking for more money to eliminate cut in instructional supplies and to increase school cleaning The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County commissioners indicating it's unlikely that the school system will get an $8.8 million increase

It's not official, but it's looking pretty clear that the Wake County school system will not get an $8.8 million increase from county commissioners this year.

As noted in today's article, members of the Republican majority on the board of commissioners are talking about how hard it would be to give the $8.8 million when the total increase in county revenue is less than that amount.

"Realistically, it going to be awfully tough to come up with the money," said Phil Mathews, vice chairman of the board of commissioners. "I’m really hoping they can tighten things up so it doesn’t come to it."

1347250736 Wake County commissioners indicating it's unlikely that the school system will get an $8.8 million increase The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board and commissioners to discuss school funding and CTE high school

School funding and the long-proposed career technical/vocational high school are on the agenda for today's joint meeting of the Wake County school board and county commissioners.

Superintendent Tony Tata and Wake Tech Community College President Stephen Scott will talk about a potential career and technical education high school partnership. The idea of beefing up the vocational programs for high school students in Wake has been talked about for a long time.

After getting an update on the county's economic situation, both boards will discuss Tata's budget proposal. It's not expected that Tata's proposed $8.8 million increase from the county will get a warm reception from the commissioners.

You may also hear discussion about when a school construction bond issue might be put on the ballot in 2013.

Janes West running unopposed for Wake County commissioner

Wake County school board members know for sure at least one of the county commissioners who will be elected this fall.

The filing period closed today with no Republican filing to run for Commissioner James West's District 5 seat. West is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. He's the first person running in an uncontested race for Wake County commissioner since 1994.

West, who was appointed to the board of commissioners in September 2010 to fill a vacancy, has said the school system will remain one of his priorities.

In District 4, Republican Dale Cooke will oppose Democrat Caroline Sullivan. In District 6, Democratic incumbent Betty Lou Ward will run against Republican Paul Fitts. The races are countywide even though the candidates must live in their district.

Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman running for state Senate

Erv Portman has become the third Wake County commissioner to seek higher office this year.

Portman announced today he's filed for the state Senate seat now held by Republican Richard Stevens, who isn't seeking another term. Portman's candidacy means he's giving up the chance to run for the seat on the commissioners that expires this year.

Portman, a Democrat, was appointed last year to fill the opening caused by Stan Norwalk's resignation.

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman on becoming the board "watchdog"

Wake County school board member Debra Goldman says she's taking on the role of board "watchdog."

During last week's board meeting, Goldman, a Republican, repeatedly raised concerns about the way she felt the new Democratic board majority was operating. She accused the board of committing several policy violations and not passing the "smell test" on email discussions.

"You’ve referred to me as the watchdog and I will pick up that mantle and go forward with it," Goldman said during the meeting.

Wake County school board to discuss student assignment, Jim Black land deal and other issues today

Student assignment is just one of many items that will be discussed during today's Wake County school board meeting.

A dozen items are on the agenda for the work session that starts at 1 p.m. Student assignment is listed as the last item but could be moved up.

Other work session topics include setting up joint meetings with the county commissioners, the return of school board committees, staff handling of public information requests and enrollment projections for operating and capital budgets.

Items on the agenda for the regular meeting that starts at 5:30 p.m. include approving the Jim Black land deal and selling the school system's Noble Road facility. This is also the first meeting where public comment will be restored to three minutes per speaker.

1326193266 Wake County school board to discuss student assignment, Jim Black land deal and other issues today The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Signs point to a school funding budget battle in Wake County

Get ready for what looks to be a rocky budget season between the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Wake County school board.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, the commissioners will vote today on appointing Republicans Joe Bryan, Paul Coble and Tony Gurley to the budget, finance and education committee. Click here to view the committee assignments. The document mistakenly says 2011 and not 2012.

Bryan, nominated to chair the committee, says the GOP majority on the board of commissioners will likely stick with its pay-as-you-go philosophy of maintaining services based on the lowered revenue streams of recession years. The county is projecting slow revenue growth for the upcoming fiscal year.

School board to face whether to return $15 million to county commissioners

The question of whether the Wake County school board should return to the county around $15 million in excess fund balance is likely to be a big issue during the budget process next year.

In a nutshell, the school system's undesignated fund balance, colloquially called its rainy day fund, has grown so much in the past few years that board policy dictates that about $15 million be returned to county commissioners.

But with next year's budget being tight, is that the right call? Also, it would take a two-thirds majority to waive policy to keep the $15 million so would a bi-partisan coalition agree to that decision?

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST, WHICH NOW INCLUDES LINK TO TUESDAY DISCUSSION ON RICK & DONNA MARTINEZ SHOW ON WPTF

Ron Margiotta gives advice to incoming school board members

Outgoing Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta had some advice to give to the incoming board members and those who will remain on the board after his Dec. 6 departure.

During his final meeting as chairman on Tuesday, Margiotta urged the new board members to work well with county commissioners, Superintendent Tony Tata and staff. Margiotta also urged the new members to not meddle in the operation and affairs of schools.

Margiotta also urged the new Democratic members who knocked him and the Republican majority out of power, to think outside the box and "not simply rely on old solutions."

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