Del Burns thinks the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) needs more money – $35 million dollars more to be exact. The Wake County Superintendent of Public Schools is asking County Commissioners for a whopping 12 — yes, I said 12 — percent increase over last year’s budget. Burns says the money is needed to keep up with growth and inflation.
A couple of relevant facts: inflation for 2007 was 2.85 percent. Second, while Wake County did experience enrollment growth, the final student enrollment numbers for 2007 were 2,000 students less than the school board estimate. An additional $35 million dollars to keep up with growth and inflation? That’s a fat increase and thin rationale. Interesting, last year, Wake County Schools received close to $6.4 million dollars because WCPSS overestimated student enrollment and received additional monies for mandated teacher raises, monies. The monies should have been returned to taxpayers. Residents of Wake County ought to demand that Mr. Burns tell Wake County taxpayers how the additional money was spent. Now WCPPS wants a 12 percent increase for a so called “no frills” schools budget? The chutzpah is hard to believe. There’s a lot of explaining to do. In the meantime, let’s hope the county commissioners don’t give them another dime!