Orange County nears final school funding decision

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will discuss the upcoming county budget Tuesday and could decide final funding for the county’s two school districts Thursday.

The Orange County manager’s recommended budget includes roughly more than $2 million more for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, about $3.3 million less than the school board’s request. The per-pupil increase would be $123.

The proposal would take the CHCCS allotment in the Orange County budget from about $46.4 million for this school year to about $48.5 million for next.

The Orange County Schools allotment would go from about $30.8 million to about $32.2 million. Orange County Schools had requested nearly $35 million for 2017-18.

The proposed North Carolina Senate budget increases teacher salaries by an average of 3.7 percent, while the House budget increases salaries by an average of 3.3 percent.

The Senate budget reduces the central office by 10.5 percent in 2017-18 with an additional reduction in 2019-20, and the House budget 5 percent, also with an additional reduction in 2019-20.

The Senate budget provides higher step pay increases for teachers in math, science and exceptional-children teachers entering the profession next school year than for other teachers.

Both the Senate and House proposals provide class-size waivers for the system’s dual-language program, but while the House budget includes funding for the program, the Senate budget does not.

CHCCS Superintendent for Support Services Todd LoFrese told the school board last week that a conference committee is working out the differences between the Senate and House budgets and a combined budget is expected in the next two to three weeks.

CHCSS Board Vice Chair Rani Dasi urged fellow board members to attend the county commissioners’ meetings this week.

Matt Goad: 919-536-8549