Wake County, NC — Thoughts for June 2015 from Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education.
It’s Graduation Season and Reason for Smiles
A few facts to consider:
Vernon Malone College & Career Academy held its inaugural commencement ceremony.
Wake will award diplomas to 9,850 students in 25 ceremonies; about 400 more than last year. This class earned more than $101 million in scholarships and can claim at least:
- 1,400 Honor Society graduates o 2,125 North Carolina Scholars
- 35 National Merit Finalists
- 5 Park Scholars
- 1 Morehead scholar
- 11 Military Scholarships
- 23 WCPSS Future Teacher Awards
And the Children are Coming!
Wake’s updated student enrollment projections (via ITRE & OREd at NCSU) continue to show increased demand for school seats. Capacity is severely strained in many areas, and the growth keeps coming. Enrollment planning for opening new schools in 2016-17 begins in June.
Meanwhile, the School Board and County Commission and their staffs are working on a different way to fund construction that may be more palatable to tax payers and may provide greater predictability for school construction planners and budgeters. Stay tuned.
The Question Remains…
How much is enough to pay teachers and support staff in our public schools?
The approved House budget provides for 2% raises for teachers and support staff and a 5% increase in total state spending. Current talk in the Senate will limit the total spending increase to 2.5% with no raises identified for support staff and established teachers. Where will it end?
The local County supplement makes a difference when hiring new employees or retaining veterans. While the county manager’s budget recommendation does support expanded local funding for the schools, it stops about $12 million short of the Schools’ request.
($12 million = 1 cent of property tax.) Most of the new County funding requested will increase pay for teachers and support staff.
Negative Energy Buildings
Last month, I messed up and called a building that generates more power than it uses by the wrong name. The correct name is a “Negative Energy Use Building.”
The potential impact for cost avoidance is significant as the average school power bill is greater than $200,000. I wanted to correct the record.
For the first time that I can remember, Wake County government is developing an economic development brochure that touts Wake County as “Passionate About Education.”
Copy excerpts include:
- Wake County is a “Smart” community…
- #2 Most Educated City in America – Raleigh, NC per WalletHub.com
- Almost half of Wake county’s populations has a four-year degree or higher.
- Wake County ranks #1 nationally in “Gold Standard” teachers.
The County and the District working together is producing solid benefits for our community.
Parent chats are held on the first Thursdays and on the third Mondays of each month. They are not held on holidays.
- 1st Thursdays: 1 pm, Cary Chamber, 315 N Academy Street
- 3rd Mondays: 11 am, Caribou Coffee shop, 109 SW Maynard
Get in Touch
BFletcher@wcpss.net || Voice Mail: 919-431-7332 || Mobile: 919-880-5301
Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photo by Gregg Sloan.