Education: Bill Fletcher 2017 June Newsletter

Cary, NC – Thoughts for June 2017 from Bill Fletcher, Member of the Wake County Board of Education.

County Budget Sleight of Hand

Now you see it! Now you don’t! In the current conversation about local funding for our public schools, the County says “take $20 million we gave you last year and balance your budget with it next year!” What? In simpler terms, it could be called a “reversion.”  Since the schools are good stewards and have a habit of having a little bit of cash in the bank at the end of the year, the County says “use that to balance the next year’s budget!”

Problem is, it’s not real money until the annual financial audit has been completed sometime in October. And then, it’s one-time money rather than recurring funds. How does the system hire additional counselors and start paying salaries in July with an “imaginary $20 million” that may or may not be available in October?

This argument is completely wrong-headed. It is a dramatic departure from past local funding agreements. The County Commission does not and will not use imaginary funds for its budget. Both the System and the County must have balanced budgets. You can’t do that with imaginary money.

Please share your thoughts with members of the County Commission.

Graduations Are in Full Swing!

Twenty-seven Wake high schools will graduate almost 11,000 young people into the marketplace between now and June 15. They are prepared to succeed at their next adventure whether into higher ed, the military or a career. They are equipped with the 4Cs – the ability to communicate, collaborate, think critically and be creative. Congratulations!

Do Adverse Childhood Experiences Contribute to Low Academic Performance?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They may also include household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s life.

Many children are impacted by ACEs and struggle in school. A typical teacher doesn’t have the time or training to assist. In schools with appropriate counselor and social worker support, evidence of ACEs is identified and professionals proactively engage students in developing coping strategies. Typical results include improved attendance and participation in class and improving grades.

A significant portion of this year’s budget request is focused in increasing access to school counselors and social workers. It is our highest budget priority, second only to student enrollment growth.

Factoid #33

The NC General Assembly has set 20 students as the maximum class size for grades K-through-4 for the 2017-18 school year. Many families have been asked to make changes to their routines to accommodate the adjustments. Let me say “Thank you” to all! We appreciate your understanding and continued support of your public schools.

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 || Voice Mail: 919-694-8843 || Mobile: 919-880-5301

Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photos by John Picken; graphic courtesy of Bill Fletcher.