November 10, 2020

New Report Finds Wake County Public School System Has Major Impact on Local Economy

WCPSS spending produces more local spending, creates jobs, and adds to local property values

RALEIGH, N.C. — WakeEd Partnership (WakeEd), a business-backed nonprofit organization committed to supporting staff and students in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), has released a new report titled “The Economic Impact of the Wake County Public School System”.

Researched and written by Michael Walden, Ph.D., the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Economics at North Carolina State University, the report indicates that WCPSS is a major factor in the Wake County economy through its employees, purchasing, construction, and the graduates it produces.

“WCPSS spending sets off a chain reaction of other spending and respending in the county economy as businesses and households alike take funds received from WCPSS and purchase products and services from vendors in the area,” Dr. Walden writes in the report. “Each recent WCPSS class of graduates is associated with close to $1 billion of savings in future crime, welfare, and health care public expenditures.

For example, every $1 spent by WCPSS on operations results in an additional $1.71 in local spending by individuals and businesses. Every $1 spent on capital costs, such as construction and renovation, results in $1.63 spending locally. In addition, each WCPSS job results in .32 other jobs.

On top of the spending effect, WCPSS graduates have positive outcomes on individual and property wealth by increasing lifetime income and property values. WCPSS graduates also have less impact on the criminal justice and public health systems.

“Strong, vibrant public schools are not only the heart and soul of a community like Wake County, they are the only proven driver of sustained economic growth and vitality,” said Keith Poston, President, WakeEd Partnership. “This new report illustrates the very real return on our investment in Wake County Public Schools beyond the obvious impact of preparing all of our students for college and careers. Our success and our future depends on our public schools.”

“We are grateful to Dr. Michael Walden and WakeEd Partnership for helping the community better understand the direct and indirect benefits of a strong public school system for all Wake County citizens,” said WCPSS Superintendent Cathy Moore. “The Wake County Public School System is an integral part of our community, and the community is an integral part of our school system. We believe Wake County residents value a strong public school system and will partner to provide the support and resources to fully realize our shared vision.”

Read the full report and additional materials here on WakeEd’s website.

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About WakeEd Partnership 
WakeEd Partnership is an independent, nonprofit organization composed of business and community leaders committed to improving public education. Since 1983, the Partnership has advocated for excellent educational opportunities for all students in the Wake County Public School System. For more information, please visit

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