The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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Approving a budget amount

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Here's the quick hit on what happened with the county commissioners on the school budget.

By a 4-3 vote, the commmissioners voted to give the school board an increase of $18.5 million, far less than the $54.7 million increase requested by the school board. Of that $18.5 million increase, $3 million will be put in reserve to make sure that this fall's enrollment matches projections.

Additionally, the commissioners are specifying by purpose and function how the $319.2 million can be spent. The school board can make changes of up to 15 percent in each category without getting approval of the commissioners.

Finally, the school budget is based on getting a 6 percent raise from the state for teachers. If the raise only turns out to be 4 percent, the commissioners want part of the $2.6 million difference to go toward a 0.25 percent supplement increase for teachers.

The school board asked for that supplement increase as part of the new programs in its budget, but likely will be cut based on getting less than the amount requested from commissioners.

Commissioners are making this request because of the expectation that the state raise will be less than 6 percent. The state House has only signed off on a 3 percent raise.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.