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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Scaling back the budget request

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It looks like the school system will be more conservative in how much money it requests from county commissioners in the new budget.

As noted in today's article, school leaders say they'd be content with getting just a $6.6 million increase from commissioners this year. That's far less than the $54.7 million increase that the school board unsuccessfully sought last year.

But also as noted in the article, Harold Webb, chairman of the board of commissioners, said it might not be possible to even give $6.6 million more. Doing so would require either cutting some other part of the budget or increasing property taxes.

There doesn't seem to be a willingness to raise taxes. County Commissioner Stan Norwalk said during yesterday's joint meeting that it didn't make sense to raise taxes during the middle of a recession,

That's why Norwalk floated an idea in which the school system could benefit from money it saves in its building program. He proposed that for every $1 saved, the county should put 20 cents of it into the school district’s operating budget.

Webb questioned whether it would be possible to implement Norwalk’s proposal.

For now, the school system will continue to work on the budget. Superintendent Del Burns will present his proposal to the school board in March.

Click here for the presentation that County Manager David Cooke gave yesterday that painted such as dark budget picture for both boards.


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No, Bob

NOT proving that. User1234 is absolutely right.

Private / Charters much cheaper

We just built two Thales Academy (in W-F and Apex) K-8 schools, 432 children each, for under $7m total and in less than one year. That's room for 864 children at a total cost less than a third what Wake County spends on a new elementary school that holds fewer children. And our children score in the 90th percentile on national (Iowa) tests. Let Bob Luddy (founder of Franklin & Thales Academies) build all future schools and our budgetary problems our solved; academic, too.

Can you build 100 more

by this time next year?  And put a cafeteria in a few?  ;c )


Ken, we have already

Ken, we have already congratulated you on your accomplishments so you don’t need to keep fishing for complements.   It has also be pointed out that you are not comparing apples to apples in that you don’t have a gym, auditorium, media center, cafeteria, parking lot? which contributes to your lower cost.  It is great that you have smart kids (90%) but you would be much more admired if you would take the 30% passing F&Rs the public school gets and turn them into 90% Iowa students.  Cherry picking smart kids with motivated parents, putting them in a scaled back building and having them score well in not the real life situation public schools deal with.


Proving that you don't need a gym, auditorium, media center, cafeteria or parking lot to be a good school.  Those are great things to have, but don't really add that much (with the possible exception of a media center, aka "library.")


Bob … Ken starts with top

Bob … Ken starts with top students with motivated parents who pay tuition.  They are programmed to be good students.  He could do nothing and they would be good students.  The real test I would like to challenge Ken with is to take a few 30% F&R and turn them into good students.   That would be something to crow about since he would probably do it for less than the public school does.  I don’t know if a gym, auditorium, media center, or parking lot are essential for good students but I know they account for the difference in cost Ken keeps mentioning but conveniently forgetting to note.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.