In his annual State of the City address this week, Mayor Charles Meeker laid out three goals for 2006: reduce fuel consumption, fight homelessness and – according to The News & Observer – “push Wake County to solve its school-crowding crisis.”
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Meeker said he realizes Raleigh government has no control over schools, but he felt the need to urge action.
It will take roughly $1.2 billion to renovate schools, move students out of trailers and handle the 12,000 new students estimated for the next two years.
Wake County’s tax base will increase enough that $400,000 to $500,000 can be committed now without a tax increase.
The rest of the money, Meeker said, should be left to voters to decide on this fall’s ballot.
“We’re behind,” he said. “We’ve been behind now for a couple of years. … I have confidence this community, as it always has done before, can solve our problem.”
That’s not much. But it may be a start. Maybe he’ll now join the outnumbered Council members who want the City to debate this issue.