Earlier this week, the WakeEd Board of Directors sent a letter to all members of the NC House and Senate who represent Wake County, and to members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19’s working group on education. The letter encourages the continuation of pay and benefits for all employees of the Wake County Public School System and for greater operational and spending flexibility until normal operations resume.
Schools are closed statewide until May 15, but it is uncertain if that date will need to be extended. Thousands of WCPSS employees are hourly workers whose work is typically done only in the scholl building. Without the ability to go to work, they might be in jeopardy of losing income from lack of hours or being laid off altogether.
Further, WCPSS, and all K-12 districts across the state, are bound by restrictions on spending money on operating expenses over and above salaries, the start and end dates of the school year, the number of days school must be in session, observing teacher performance, meeting school improvement plan objectives, and student testing requirements.
The General Assembly is working now, in the days leading up to the 2020 short session, to gather information from stakeholders across the state to understand the scope of the legislation necessary to respond to the immediate changes caused by the extended school closure.
WakeEd’s Board, which is composed of more than 30 business leaders who represent the region’s largest employers and taxpayers, believes these measures are the top priorities for the K-12 sector.