County officials are interested in putting the school funding formula up for a public vote, but have received no response from the school board.
County board Chairman Bob Davis said that he and County Manager Kevin Patterson recently met with school board Chairman Charles Brown and discussed the issue.
“We have met (with Brown) … and we have asked them if they would be willing to put the school floor out for a referendum in 2014,” Davis said. The chairman was responding to a question from county resident Charles Parker posed at Monday's county Board of Commissioner's meeting.
“I asked the school board chairman that question," Davis said. "We did not get an answer.”
Davis also said that the commissioners have requested a joint meeting of the boards, but that a response has not yet been received from school officials.
Referred to by some as the “school floor,” the funding formula essentially requires that the county fund the school system at a level equal to the average funding level of similarly classified North Carolina counties.
The formula has periodically come under fire for the strain that it puts on the county’s budget, which has been stretched thin with personnel and pay cuts in recent years.
Schools Superintendent Rick Stout was expected to attend the recent meeting but was unable to take part because of a death in his family, Davis said.
Parker praised Davis and “whoever else was involved” with the school floor discussions.
“It makes me feel real good that there’s somebody representing another side of this county,” Parker said. “Something fruitful may come of this.”