From an email distributed last week by Wak County Commissioner-elet Stan Norwalk:
Subject: Cuts in County Contribution to WCPSS education budget.
I need your help to stop any further cuts in the County's contribution to the WCPSS budgert.
First, please read this article in todays N&O.
Wake schools may have to lay off employees
A large show of support is needed to prevent the County's proposed cuts. Here are some arguments against any cuts by the County.
• Per the NC DPI, WCPSS is 85th among the 115 NC school systems in expenditures for operating schools, i.e. for education. It spends less than the average NC school system. (This does not include construction.).
• Over the last five years WCPSS's rank has fallen from 71st to 84th.
• Similarly, the rank of Wake County's contribution for education has declined from 13th to 17th.
• During that period the average increase of NC's schools was 43%. WCPSS increased only 23%. Although the state and the county are responsible for this sorry record, other NC Counties are trying harder than Wake.
• On a national basis, NC ranks 42nd among the states in support of K-12…$30,000 per classroom per year less than the national average. (Source: S&P's School Data Direct)..
• The education gap (versus other states) is totally due to the County's contribution. The states contribution has been slightly above the national average.
• Earlier this year the Wake BOC cut the BOE's operating budget request by $35 million. The County's contribution in recent years does not account for inflation – only growth.
• This history of lack of support by the County has begun to affect academic performance…e.g. graduation rate and test scores.
• Wake County has ample rainy day funds to deal with its <2% shortfall. There is no need to take more money from the schools…even in these hard times.
These downward trends have to stop! A four vote majority is needed to avoid any further cuts. That is by no means assured. Your support for WCPSS is needed at this critical point.
The BOC meeting will start at 2PM. The meeting is held in the 7th floor board room of the Court House I will be sworn in with the other newly elected commissioners shortly thereafter. (As ever, parking, security and the elevators will slow you down.)The public speaks out session starts at 3PM. I suggest you get there early and sign up. Signs and posters showing your support would be of help. (Save our Schools; Stop the Cuts).
Please pass this e-mail on to your friends, associatesand neighbors
County Commissioner Elect
The email listed above was distributed last week by County Commissioner-elect Stan Norwalk. Norwalk hasn’t even taken office yet and he’s doing all he can to make sure everyone knows the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) can not afford to absorb $11.2 million in state cuts. Interestingly, Wake County has put off action on school cuts until December 1, when Norwalk — whose election tips the balance on the school board in favor of Democrats 4 to 3 — takes office. Norwalk and others who read the email should consider the following:
This past year, Wake County Public Schools received an additional $5.5 million in state funds due to WCPSS overestimating school enrollment.
The 2008-09 state budget included $35 million in a transportation fuel supplement for districts to help cover rising fuel costs. Since passage of the budget bill, fuel costs have been cut almost in half.
WCPSS has been assuming 6-8 percent budget growth per year for the past three years, based on expected enrollment growth. For the past two years, enrollments have fallen short of WCPSS projections. Budgets have expanded while the number of students have not.
Norwarlk claims S& P Data Direct NC ranks 42nd among the states in support of K-12…$30,000 per classroom per year less than the national average. S&P Data Direct lists no such data.