Durham teachers rally against budget cuts

Posted May 21, 2010

— A group of Durham teachers held a rally on Friday in protest of planned cuts to the Durham Public Schools budget.

Next year’s budget for Durham schools includes $13 million in teacher job losses, which amounts to about 237 teaching positions.

Teachers rally in Durham Teachers rally in Durham

Educators say they already face class sizes as high as 30 students and are dealing with a shortage of supplies.

“We need the funding to save education in Durham,” art teacher Marlu Flowers said.

The Durham Association of Educators organized Friday afternoon's rally. The group started at the Durham Schools administration building and marched to the offices of Durham County Board of Commissioners, at 200 E. Main St.

Jenn Mason-Mancuso, a first grade teacher who was laid off last year, was among hundreds that attended the rally.

She said she fears more teachers will be let go unless county commissioners can find the money to save them.

“There is money and this is an investment,” Manson-Mancuso said.

Some school board members attended the rally in support the cause. In tight budget times, they said, ultimately, some teachers will be laid off.

“I think they want to work with us and give us what they can give us. They have to weigh the needs of the county across the board,” board member Heidi Carter said.

Commissioner Becky Heron said demonstrators should have taken their march to Raleigh, not Durham.

“We are not cutting their budget. It is the state that has cut the schools,” she said.

Heron said it will not be easy to make up for the millions in cuts handed down by the state, but she said commissioners will make an effort in their budget.

“We are going to give them a small increase in our funding over what they had last year,” she said.


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  • mnsbass May 24, 2010

    Teachers sitting on their rear-ends? How can they find any time to sit down? Most Elementary Teachers are too busy working 2 jobs. Their first job is the one they get paid to do (teaching your kids) and their other job is one they don't get paid to do (RAISING YOUR KIDS.)

  • Weetie May 24, 2010

    WHAT IS GOING WITH THE MONEY FROM THE NC education lottery???

  • mep May 21, 2010

    Facts of life.... the economy is bad and cuts need to be made.
    I just wish this "cutting" would reach the Federal govt level.

  • Sunc May 21, 2010


    What is it you do for a living? If it is nothing, then I invite you to come into my classroom for a day and actually observe me sitting around on my behind all day. Let me know when you would like to come and I will be happy to get it arranged. If you do have a job, I would like to know what it is so I can decide if you are able to be a critic of me and my job. I am a teacher and proud of it, can you say the same of you and your work. I make a difference in the life of a child.

  • ThatGuyAgain May 21, 2010

    Hiya Rock - I wholeheartedly agree with you that vast swaths of the American populace are ignorant and dull. Take a look at spending per student in the US overall or in any US locale over the last 40 - 50 years (it has increased enourmously), then take a look at any measurements of ignorance and dullness (test scores are the best you'll do) in the same locales over the same period. You may find out what everybody WITHOUT a personal financial interest in the Education Industry already knows: the more money you put in the front end, the stupider the kids come out of the back end.

    No, I won't do your research for you. Start at Or just remain clueless; it's no big deal to me either way.

  • ncguy321 May 21, 2010

    no schools have assistants to the assistant principals. Those assistants are called secretarys and teachers

  • ncguy321 May 21, 2010

    The money is there in Durham. The county commisioners just do not want to spend it. They have ample amounts of reserve money for emergencies. This is an emergency. DPS are already one of the lowest performing in the is this not an emergency? All the commisioners have to do is give the ok and everything will be fine.

  • colliedave May 21, 2010

    Just wondering: how many of these schools have assitants to the assitant principal? Cuts need to be made but start with the neededless overhead.

  • sjmacdonald91 May 21, 2010

    That guy again- the difference between college and secondary schools is that the 100 or so kids you are talking about in a college class WANT to be there and pay for it. How many suspensions, behavior problems, and rude parents do college professors deal with? If all teachers had to do was teach it would be easy. Most of their day is spent trying to discipline unruly children. I agree money doesn't solve all the problems of the world but less manpower will cripple the schools. There is plenty of fat to cut in Central Services not the classrooms. Bad schools = lower property values, we can all relate to that.

  • ncguy321 May 21, 2010

    I think that some people clearly do not understand the situation. There are no teachers that I know that are sitting around doing nothing. Teaching is a real job and a very difficult one at that. On top of that, most teachers do not make much money - 30k for first year teachers. You would need to work for seven years to make 40k/year. For the person who made the comment about college freshman are right. UNIVERSITY classes have more students in them. How about you ask yourself what the difference is between an urban student and the freshman who goes to a university. If you do not know any, then you are ignorant to the situation and should keep your comments to yourself. Having 30 teenagers in a FREE education system is much different than having 100 freshman in a University setting where they had to PAY to go.
    Does the education system waste money? I am sure it does. I think all government agencies do. But we need to be hiring teachers to reduce class sizes so we can c