It looks like supporters of the new school board members will step forward to cover the cost of next Tuesday's reception.
The board traditionally holds a brief reception after new members are sworn in. The cost is usually covered by the district. But private citizens have offered to pay the costs this time.
"Parties like these should be paid for by private dollars," said Kristen Stocking, founder of the Wake Schools Community Alliance, whose support helped elect all four new members.
She said that no WSCA campaign donations would be used to pay for the reception.
Private donations also covered the cost of the Victory Ball that was held Nov. 14 for new board members.
There's symbolism in private individuals stepping forward during this recession. Just last week, Supt. Del Burns announced plans to cut $20 million from next fiscal year's budget.
School administrators say they're in the process of calculating the cost for the reception, which will likely draw a few hundred people on Dec. 1. They'll provide the bill to the folks who've offered to step forward.
The August reception after board member Keith Sutton was sworn in cost Wake $487.50. The crowd dined on punch and hors d'oeuvres. The cost drew some complaints with people pointing to how no board lunch was held this past school year for the high school valedictorians.
The scaled-back September reception for new board member Carolyn Morrison costs $184. A much simpler fare of punch, nuts and small pastries was served then.
Joe Ciulla said he, Stocking and Sarah Redpath will pay for the reception out of their own pockets. All three are leaders in WSCA.
"We don't want taxpayers and students to pay for this," Ciulla said. "The four new board members campaigned on fiscal responsibility."