• 2024-25 Board of Education's Proposed Budget

    students looking at iPad

  • Dear Chair Thomas and members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners:

    On behalf of the Wake County Board of Education, I present for your consideration our proposed budget and request for county appropriation for the 2024-25 fiscal year. 

    We recognize and appreciate the strong working relationship that has been built between our boards in recent years, based on shared goals and values and the alignment between our strategic plans to ensure that all Wake County residents have access to quality educational opportunities and education-based support services, as well as high-quality educational facilities. We also recognize the challenges to these goals that arise from inadequate state funding for educational services, the discontinuation of beneficial federal funding resources, and inflationary pressures that put stress on the purchasing power of citizens and their governments.

    Of course it is essential that we build on the momentum we have made toward meeting all of the important goals outlined in the multi-year funding plan launched in 2019, which address employee compensation, facility maintenance, student behavioral health, and the need for instructional technology support. However, this budget request strategically focuses on the most pressing needs of our students and educators: employee compensation and student behavioral health.

    To that end, we have prioritized the following funding goals:

    • Increasing pay to support educators and non-certified staff, with additional emphasis on bus driver compensation to address the ongoing shortage;
    • Continuing our support of Master’s Pay for educators, recognizing the growing number of certified staff who are expected to qualify for this benefit;
    • Maintaining a full-time substitute teacher at each school, a measure previously supported by ESSER funding which will now be covered with local dollars, to support teachers and staff as we work to reduce staff vacancies;
    • Maintaining current staffing levels of social workers, counselors, and school psychologists, in light of the need for enhanced student health support that has persisted beyond ESSER funding; and
    • Transitioning to local funding of Behavioral Health Support positions that were previously funded by ESSER funding expiring in September.

    It is no coincidence that we list compensation for our outstanding teachers and staff as a top priority, as funding to support the retention and recruitment of these essential personnel is crucial. Every priority area, pillar, and aim of our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan depends on our schools being staffed and supported by high-quality, dedicated, and responsive professionals. In this competitive employment marketplace, and with increases in the cost of living, our teachers and staff - and the families we serve - are looking for an increased commitment to their futures in Wake County. We cannot achieve academic excellence without excellent teachers and staff, and students who are supported and ready to learn.

    While this appropriation request of $63,214,006 represents a 10 percent increase from FY 2023-24, it does not reflect all of the school district's needs. We are proposing to pause progress on other important elements of our multi-year plan to address the crucial issues of employee compensation and student well-being.

    The 2024-25 budget proposal and our appropriation request are driven by:

    • Our five-year Strategic Plan, adopted by our Board in close collaboration with our community and administration to methodically foster excellence and equity at every level;
    • The analysis and priorities of district and school leadership, directed by our superintendent, Dr. Robert P. Taylor, and his team; and
    • Our board’s commitment to increased community engagement and representing our constituents, including their vision for a strong public school system that helps our children reach their full potential and lead productive lives in a complex and changing world.

    We make this request with sincere appreciation and gratitude for the vital local investment that allows Wake County to remain competitive with comparable communities around the southeast as one of the best places to live and work in the country. Your ongoing efforts have ensured that our schools can deliver on the promise of economic mobility and success, providing hope and opportunity to today’s children and youth and securing our community’s prosperity for decades to come.

    We look forward to working together on a budget plan that meets the vital needs of our students and staff and allows us to maintain a healthy public school system for the citizens of Wake County. 

    Chris Heagarty
    Chair, WCPSS Board of Education

Budget Timeline

  • March 19 - Superintendent presents proposed budget to school board

    April/May - School board discusses budget proposal and hosts public hearing

    May 7 - Board approves budget proposal

    May 13 and 23 - County Commissioners discuss budget during work sessions 

    May 21 and 22 - County Commissioners host budget public hearings

    June 3 - County Commissioners scheduled to consider adopting budget