Education

Durham asks teachers to choose between pay cut, furlough

Posted March 31, 2010
Updated April 1, 2010

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— Durham Public Schools leaders asked teachers and staff to choose between a pay cut or 2-day furlough as a means to save jobs and fill a $20 million anticipated budget shortfall in the coming year.

The school system sent out a survey to teachers on Monday asking them to choose between the two options. Answers are due Thursday. The results of the survey will be considered as the board prepares the budget for 2010-2011, a note on the school system Web site says.

The furlough, which would be above and beyond any statewide furlough sought by the governor for public employees, would require all DPS employees to take two days without pay. The pay for those two days is equal to a one-time, one percent cut of a teacher's annual pay, the Web site says. It would save the school system and estimated $1.8 million.

The other option is a salary reduction, which, the survey warns, would be permanent.

"It is important for employees to know that if the salary reduction is chosen, your salary is reduced, longevity is reduced and your retirement benefit could be lower if you are in your last 48 months before retirement," the survey says.

A proposal presented to the Board of Education March 25 noted that an across-the-board pay cut of 5.5 percent would save the district $10.7 million.

The cost-cutting measures would be applied to prevent the need to cut teaching positions, the Web site says. In the 2009-10 fiscal year, 138 teachers and 74 teaching assistant positions were cut in Durham.

The 2010-11budget proposal includes a plan to cut up to 60 positions and 25 percent of the budget from central services. Those cuts would come on top of the loss of 61 positions due to the tight budget in 2009-10.

Also on the table is a plan to increase class sizes and reduce the number of teachers needed.

Interim Superintendent Hank Hurd is to present his budget plan to the board on April 29. A public hearing is scheduled for May 6 and the budget is due to county commissioners no later than May 15.

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  • MagnumLoads Apr 2, 2010

    STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!

  • superman Apr 1, 2010

    The lottery money does not all go to one school. It is spread out between all the schools systems in the state. 200 million split between 100 schools is only 2 million each. About 1/3 goes for administration for the lottery/ 1/3 for prizes and the other 1/3 to the schools. Cutting positions that are state funded will do nothing to help their local budget. They cant use the state money for anything other than for teachers paid with state funds. The unused money will just revert back to the state. The only way what they doing will help is the people who are paid with local money.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 1, 2010

    There's where their money goes...like I said in my previous post...its like shooting themselves in the foot!

    http://www.texasrainmaker.com/2006/01/03/113631231000282850

  • affirmativediversity Apr 1, 2010

    Look at it this way...all that hard work to vote in DEMOCRATS has finally paid off for you...just think if you're laid off you can get Porkfest to help pay for your health insurance premium...and if you still have a job you can wait 4 years with higher taxes to enroll in your chosen collective.

    Nice job Teacher's Association...I'm thinking its called shooting yourself in your own foot!

  • gandalla Apr 1, 2010

    Im sure the greedy teachers will take neither and hope they are not the ones that will get fired.

  • hardwork919 Apr 1, 2010

    "In a high school with four APs, that could break out like this: 1) Athletic Director + Discipline 2) Curriculum + Scheduling + Testing 3) Maintenance + Operations + Non-Teaching Areas (Custodians, Cafeteria, etc) 4) Professional Development + Fundraising + Community Relations + Employee Relations. I haven't been an administrator, but that is a lot of work to be split up." issymayake

    I guess I'm just looking at it from my experience. We had four APs who did little more than write people up while passing the students off to the ISS director. They might have had duties that I couldn't see, of course, but I don't see how that was possible with them in the hallways all throughout the day. But I agree, cuts at the system level would probably be way more beneficial.

  • hardwork919 Apr 1, 2010

    "It amazes me how teachers are the first ones to be asked to take a pay cut in our educational system when in reality if times are really THAT bad there are plenty of positions that could be cut that aren't really necessary to the day to day operation of the schools,especially in these larger school systems." PirateWorld

    If we got rid of the dead-weight administrators who do little more than sit at a desk and look pretty, we'd have more than enough for teachers... does the school board decide these cuts or the mayor?

  • issymayake Apr 1, 2010

    hardwork919,

    I agree, but I would say cut at the system level, not at the individual school levels. Generally within a high school, each asst. principal has different job responsibilities.

    In a high school with four APs, that could break out like this:
    1) Athletic Director + Discipline
    2) Curriculum + Scheduling + Testing
    3) Maintenance + Operations + Non-Teaching Areas (Custodians, Cafeteria, etc)
    4) Professional Development + Fundraising + Community Relations + Employee Relations

    I haven't been an administrator, but that is a lot of work to be split up.

  • PirateWorld Apr 1, 2010

    It amazes me how teachers are the first ones to be asked to take a pay cut in our educational system when in reality if times are really THAT bad there are plenty of positions that could be cut that aren't really necessary to the day to day operation of the schools,especially in these larger school systems.

  • wildcat Apr 1, 2010

    What Is the Education Lottery For?

    It is supposed to be used for the schools in NC. Maybe its worth checking out, someone could be abusing the money and should be sent to prison when found out.

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