Wake County, NC – Thoughts for July 2018 from Bill Fletcher, Member of the Wake County Board of Education.
Has the Legislature Enacted a Statewide Property Tax and Didn’t Tell Us?
While legislative leaders hold press conferences extolling teacher raises, their back room decisions amount to an illegal statewide property tax that claims more than one billion dollars from North Carolina’s property taxpayers.
This year more than eight cents of Wake’s property tax rate has been “stolen” by the state legislature to pay for state-required costs. That’s $120 million dollars that could have been used for counselors, nurses, social workers or technology support in our schools.
Cutting Services to Schools to Balance System Budget
It now falls to the school board to cut positions and services to balance the budget. A hiring freeze has been imposed. Instructional coaches, mentors and trainers that serve multiple schools are being reassigned to classrooms and other school-based positions.
Their current positions and many vacant positions are being eliminated. And there are more tough decisions to come.
Superintendent Moore Begins Reorganizing Central Services
With Chief of Staff Marvin Connelly being hired away as Cumberland County’s new superintendent, and Ms. Moore’s promotion from the Chief Academic Officer role, it is the ideal time to assess internal organizational alignment and efficiency.
Is the organization best aligned to accomplish the academic goals in Vision 2020? Is the organization as flat as it should be? Are communication channels clear?
Who Should Pay for Benefits of State Employees?
When the state promises a benefit to its employees, it should pay for the benefit. Isn’t that what you expect? But the state now expects counties to chip in 18.8% of the retirement benefit for state employees.
Wake’s contribution to the state retirement fund is now $29 million annually and rising.
Multitrack (Year Round) Schools opened July 9
Would your family enjoy a three week break from school in mid-October or early November? Check out Wake’s multi-track schools. May families love the flexibility of having a three week “track out” period after every 45 days of instruction.
Students (and teachers) stay refreshed and interested all year long. Apply to attend a multi-track school in January 2019.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Student Readiness to Learn
Meeting the social, emotional and basic healthcare needs of Wake’s most vulnerable children will likely require a $30 million investment. The County Commission’s allocation of $2 million recurring finds for these needs is an initial step.
The practical goal: create positive student-adult relationships that break down barriers of all types and allow every student to fully engage in their education.
Factoid #43: Class of 2018 – More Than 11,000 Grads
The Wake school systems’ Vision 2020 goal targets 95% graduation rate. This year many high schools passed the 95% mark with several reaching 100%. The system continues to see strong gains by African American and Latino students as well as those from families of limited financial means.
Individual school reports are being audited. System-wide progress toward the goal should be announced in August.
Parent chats (except on holidays)
1st Thursday – 1 PM
Cary Chamber, 315 N Academy St., Cary
3rd Monday – 11 AM
Caribou Coffee shop, 109 SW Maynard Rd., Cary
Bill Fletcher school info: BFletcher@wcpss.net || Voice Mail: 919-694-8843 || Mobile: 919-880-5301
Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photos by John Picken.