Board of Education works to repay $2M debt

Resolves to borrow $5.4 million from Truist


GOLDSBORO — The Wayne County Public Schools district appears poised to put a year of financial instability and scandal to rest.

Dr. James Merrill, interim superintendent of WCPS, announced the district is prepared to submit its first repayment to the state during last week’s Wayne County Board of Education meeting.

Merrill wishes to make a $500,000 installment on the district’s $2.166 million overdraft from the 2019-20 low wealth fund. He is confident auditors will permit a second payment later this school year.

The board unanimously passed Merrill’s request.

Also, the board agreed to accept a resolution between WCPS and Truist Bank. The two entities have devised a $5.4 million loan to be repaid by the district over a 96-month period.

More financial news evolved as the meeting progressed.

Dr. Yvette Smith Mason updated the board on a Title II Part A Funding proposal.

The document shared the goals for funding use including professional development, recruitment, mentor programs and other strategies to support beginning and veteran teachers.

The allotment is $963,411.

BOE Vice-Chair Jennifer Strickland asked if the funds could be used to pay salaries of beginning teachers in the future.

“In times of reduction of force, it potentially could be,” said Mason, WCPS assistant superintendent for human resources and professional development.

The board approved the plan.

Assistant Superintendent Tim Harrell provided information on the new Southern Wayne High School Competition Gym. A ribbon cutting ceremony has not been officially scheduled and Harrell presented a mock-up of the dedication plaque.

Board member Len Henderson said the plaque did not meet a policy standard that requires a statement that “motivates teachers, students and community.”

Henderson motioned for further discussion on the policy omission and received a “second” from Joe Democko. Henderson motioned to approve the plaque and outgoing at-large Board member Ven Faulk provided a “second.”

The board unanimously passed the motion, approving the plaque.


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