Johnston teachers facing more with less

Posted August 24, 2011

— Traditional calendar schools start back Thursday, and this will be a leaner year in many classrooms because of budget cuts.

In Johnston County, for example, the school district had to cut more than 120 positions, including 74 teaching assistant jobs, to prepare for reduced state funding.

The cuts, school system officials say, are deep, but teachers like Misty Eason, say they are getting creative rather than frustrated.

Eason, who teaches first grade at Four Oaks Elementary School, says she is nervous about this year because of the cutbacks.

The school lost two teachers and five teaching assistants.

Last year, every first-grade teacher had a teaching assistant. This year, they are sharing so that each teacher gets at least one assistant half of the day.

school Johnston school hopes students won't feel cuts

"I think that's the biggest challenge we are having right now, figuring out our schedule where all our students will get what they need," Eason said.

Principal David Pearce said he knows it will take a toll on his staff.

"It is very tough on them," he says. "They already have a lot on their plate."

There's also less money to spend on school supplies – and the student population is growing.

"We are trying to put every bit of our money into the classroom, into students," Pearce says.

That means buying only essential supplies.

Teachers are also working together to ensure students still get small group lessons.

"It's going to be a big impact," Eason says.

It won't be easy, but Eason says the teachers and students will succeed.

"We are going to do it. We are going to figure it out, because the students are first," she says. "That's why we're here."


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  • Ms.Bunny Aug 31, 2011

    Where is all the money from the EDUCATIONAL Lottery going???
    Where is the accountability for our elected officials??
    Out with the old and in with the new when the next election arrives.........Out of work elected officials can have a taste of their own actions.

  • Plenty Coups Aug 24, 2011

    "Hence, the cuts not only hurt the students and the teachers, but the taxpayer!!"

    Yes, an especially nice thank you gift was given to the teachers this year with 30% rises in ther health care expenses. Really goes nice with the 2007 wages they're still stuck at.

  • Plenty Coups Aug 24, 2011

    "The county over spent for years, the state over spent for years, now they are broke, their tax base is broke."

    Rhetoric. The state broke the national avg. in per pupil spending once in the last 100 years. Once. Spare me your nonsense. Now we're next to last. We're not overspending, we're underspanding. Taxes in NC are below the national avg. Teacher pay is also near the bottom. Go ahead and stick to your rhetoric if you want to keep lying to yourself or go ahead and do some research.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 24, 2011

    WRAL, save this story for next year. You'll be able to insert Wake County in place of JoCo. We'll lose 1000's of teachers with next year's budget.

  • jtd1969 Aug 24, 2011

    Cutting jobs = unemployed in an economy with no jobs... Is that really helping out fellow Americans???

  • laughing1 Aug 24, 2011

    This situation could be a whole lot better if the top-tier administrators would take a pay-cut or have their positions eliminated. There is too much overlap with all the top-heavy school systems.

  • jtd1969 Aug 24, 2011

    It's across the state, cutting positions, cutting supplies, cutting funds does not mean less of a taxpayer burden, because taxpayers must now buy more supplies and put more into their child's education. Hence, the cuts not only hurt the students and the teachers, but the taxpayer!! No win on this cut!!! Think about folks when u dig in your wallets this year more so than ever before! Thank you state politician for that!

  • scientistjo Aug 24, 2011

    So this is the "new South".

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 24, 2011

    Another no new, this could be said for every county in the state. The county over spent for years, the state over spent for years, now they are broke, their tax base is broke. What do you think is going to happen. We need to cut again next years also. The state only laid off 300 workers, they are still too fat with too much waste. The top level of state goverment has not even tried to cut waste yet.

  • teacher56 Aug 24, 2011

    Harnett County is also dealing with lack of TA's and proper resources.