Another School Bond for WCPSS? Look Closely at the Trendlines | Beaufort County Now | If all goes as planned, Wake County voters will be asked to approve a nearly $900 million bond referendum this November.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Robert Luebke.

    If all goes as planned, Wake County voters will be asked to approve a nearly $900 million bond referendum this November. Most of the bond ($530.7 million) will provide funds to help meet the capital needs of the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS). The remainder ($353.2 million) is targeted for similar needs for Wake Tech Community College.

    Various news reports on the topic faithfully rattle off how Wake County voters have failed to approve a school bond only once, 1999. And, since then voters have approved more than $3.2 billion in bonds.

    Will they again? Who knows? There's much to consider.

    $900 million is a lot of money. It's a lot of money for a school system that lost over 3,000 students in 2020-21 and is not expected to exceed the pre-pandemic enrollment high (2019) until 2030.

    It's a lot of money for a district whose enrollment forecast for the next ten years is dominated by red numbers - signifying declining enrollments - at nearly every grade level.

    It's a lot of money to pay for eight major school renovations and the construction of four new schools - including one high school - for a district, whose projected enrollment growth over the next decade is expected to average less than one half of one percent (.39) annually.

    And, it's a lot of money for a district whose enrollment in grades 9 through 12 is expected to decline by 721 students over the next decade.

    Do Wake County taxpayers want to pay close to $900 million for renovations and new schools?

    We'll find out in November.
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