More to come later, but the Wake County school board voted 6-3 tonight to approve Superintendent Tony Tata's $1.2 billion operating budget request.
The budget looked like it would be rejected until Republican board member Chris Malone crossed party lines to join the five Democrats in voting yes. His vote was needed because the budget required two-thirds approval to waive board policy allowing the district to use more than half its fund balance to balance the budget.
Malone called it a pragmatic budget, pointing to how state law requires it to be adopted by May 15 and how they were facing a new paradigm forcing the district to make tough budget decisions, including using $28.9 million in fund balance.
Democrats Kevin Hill and Jim Martin initially said they would vote no but wound up voting yes after staff said they'd look at modifying the budget to reduce the cut to school instructional supplies.
The three Republicans who voted no cited a variety of reasons, such as the requested $8.8 million increase from the county was too high, there were too many unanswered questions, whether the school system should use more fund balance to reduce the $8.8 million increase and whether Wake should have a fund balance.