Education

Hundreds of Wake teacher jobs could be at risk

Posted January 18, 2011
Updated January 21, 2011

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— State budget cuts could mean the loss of hundreds of teacher positions in Wake County for the 2011-12 academic year, school board members learned Tuesday.

According to preliminary numbers from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, anywhere from 260 to 360 positions could be eliminated as part of efforts to decrease funding by 5 to 10 percent. All departments are looking for ways to make up for a projected $3.7 billion state budget shortfall.

But school system staff said during a Wake school board work session Tuesday that an expected increased enrollment of 4,000 students could keep those teacher positions from being cut. There are more than 9,000 teachers in the district this year.

The numbers are estimates, as the governor and General Assembly still have to negotiate the state spending plan.

The Wake County Public School System itself is facing a potential $100 million deficit for the upcoming school year, and board members spent part of Tuesday discussing where they could reduce spending.

“This is going to be an extremely difficult year. That last one was bad. This one is going to be a horror,” school board Chairman Ron Margiotta said.

Early childhood education and assistance for at-risk students are two areas where board members say they don’t want to see funding cut. Transportation is an area where some board members want to reduce costs.

Board member Keith Sutton wants to establish a “respectable” per-pupil spending level for the district and ask state and county leaders to fund to that level. Right now, Wake County spends nearly $7,900 per student. According to local nonprofit think-tank The Forum, the state average is more than $8,700.

Regardless of funding, school system officials and staff say students will feel the budget cuts with, among other things, larger class sizes.

The Center for Public Education predicts times will remain tight for school boards even though the economy may show signs of a turnaround. They suggest budgets will not be back at pre-recession levels until the end of this decade.

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  • denton4716 Jan 19, 2011

    Its called tenure. We continue to pay people millions of dollars each year because we CHOOSE not to get rid of them for not performing their jobs. Instead we reassign them to other jobs/duties/places that should be eliminated and therefore can't afford to hire new teachers that could actually make a difference.
    Its obvious that the public doesn't really know how the system works and what the true issues are.

  • sadstate Jan 19, 2011

    i think

  • New York Attitude Jan 19, 2011

    As a former WCPSS employee - I ask why not get rid of the multiple NCWISE and IT employees or contract workers who make much more money than teachers do. The average NCWISE employee /contract worker at central office makes well over $50,000.

  • cwmllc1952 Jan 19, 2011

    As a business owner I have done what it takes to balance my budget.I have not raised prices in over 3 years.Until our governments learn to run like a business there will always be money problems.It's not time to raise fees and taxes it is time to cut the FAT.For all the government workers who think your job is safe will you keep working when the money gives out ???????????????

  • tubarick Jan 19, 2011

    As a former WCPSS employee I see that the system continues to have multiple layers of assistant principals, curriculum administrators, subject supervisors, monitors- you name the title. There is even a parallel personnel system to hire substitutes. Get rid of the extra administrative baggage!

  • chfdcpt Jan 19, 2011

    "Impact Fees, you want to move to Wake County, then pay up. The Education lottery is a joke."...shoutntime

    Even if we charged $5,000 per home impact fee, we would need to sell 6,000 new homes just to collect $30 million dollars for a small school. The construction lobby has defeated every attempt to pass local legislation for a new construction impact fee.

    If you want to make money for the system, then charge a real estate transfer fee. That means that every time property is sold, the fee is collected instead of only new construction.

  • starglow2005 Jan 19, 2011

    There's those words again..."could be", "might mean". All of our jobs "could be" at risk and the school system already gets a large percentage of our tax dollars for education, but it will never be enough and they will always want more...more...more!

  • Justin T. Jan 19, 2011

    Sure teachers are gonna get laid off but look at the bright side... WCPSS administrators' jobs are all safe and they'll get a raise for cutting 'fat' from the budget.

  • nobody important Jan 19, 2011

    Why don't we just eliminate the bus service altogether? If you live within 2 miles of your school, no bus...
    Great idea

  • arfamr1006 Jan 19, 2011

    thanks NAACP for wasting all the payroll money on frivilous lawsuits aimed at holding minorties down

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