Big plans ahead for Cary schools

October 30, 2013 by  

At a recent meeting of the Wake County School Board, several ideas were discussed to improve our local schools as well as use the recently passed school construction bond issue of $810m. Cary residents will no doubt be pleased to know that, in addition to kicking off the school system’s next round of construction, plans were also made to improve security and educational opportunities.

The bulk of the latest school construction program, estimated to cost $939.9 million will come from the latest bond issue. Included are the construction of 16 new schools, six schools receiving major renovations, a variety of small repairs, and technology upgrades at an additional 79 schools. Despite the fact that new bond issue money will not be available until at least the summer of 2014, $43.8m from this year’s bond sales will allow projects to be started.

The school board agreed to pursue what will likely be a high-budget plan to improve school safety. One big ticket item will be an estimated $25m to hire more school psychologists, social workers, and counselors. This additional intake of staff will bring Wake County schools up to the national recommended ratio for national school staffing. Also planned is an independent audit of the each school’s security.

Finally, the board discussed agreements with St. Augustine’s University and Wake Technical Community College to provide college courses for students at the districts leadership academies. Programs allowing high-school students to take college courses often increase interest in college catalog printing, which serves as a recruiting tool for the universities in question.