Wake Co. manager's recommended budget excludes teacher raises
by WNCN Staff
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Wake County's new manager recommended a $1.063 billion budget Monday that includes increased spending on education, but excludes raises for teachers.
Jim Hartmann, who replaced former Wake County manager David Cooke, presented his first recommended budget to county commissioners Monday afternoon.
Hartmann's $1.063 billion budget is $80 million more than the current budget, and includes a recommended 4.4-cent property tax increase to 57.8 cents per $100 to pay for the school system's capital improvement program.
Click Here to view the budget PowerPoint presentation
While Hartmann's budget includes a 3.1 percent increase in spending on education, the $10.1 million for the Wake County Public School System is about $29 million less than Wake schools asked the county to contribute.
In April, the Wake County school board approved a $1.37 billion budget that includes a 3.5 percent increase for all WCPSS employees. Hartmann's recommended budget, however, did not include the 3.5 percent increase.
Hartmann did say, though, that the additional $29 million is not completely off the table and wants to see what the state's contributions to teacher salaries will be.
The state of North Carolina is looking to push up teacher pay, which has lagged in recent years. But individual school systems can decide to pay teacher more than the state salaries.
"I'm committed to working with [Wake schools Superintendent Jim Merrill] to understand the impact of the state's actions and will continue evaluating options," Hartmann said Monday.
Many speakers during the open session Monday spoke in support of paying teachers more. One retired teachers showed gifts she had received through the years from students.
"You have the power to do something far more important now," she said. "You have the power to give them the salary they deserve as professionals."
One woman, whose mother is a teacher, spoke of the many hours her mother put into preparing her lessons. And another mother spoke of how her two children went to Athens Drive High School and were now gainfully employed, thanks, she said, to having a great public education in North Carolina.
Two public hearings will be held on June 2 to discuss Hartmann's recommended budget before it must be approved on June 16.