Johnston schools brace for even deeper budget cuts

Posted June 6, 2011

— The head of Johnston County's public school system says deeper budget cuts will likely mean more layoffs.

In April, the Johnston County Board of Education eliminated 123 positions, including 74 teaching assistant jobs, to prepare for reduced state funding.

When Superintendent Ed Croom drew up the proposed budget then, he expected the state's contribution to be about 10 percent less than last year.

Now, he said Monday, the most recent version of the state's nearly $20 billion budget will end up costing Johnston County Schools approximately $3 million in additional funding.

Although the Republican-written state spending plan, which Gov. Bev Perdue has criticized for harming education, preserves funding for teaching assistant positions and additional teachers for lower-elementary grades, it cuts more than $120 million in general funding for schools.

Many school systems have said that their budgets have been drained so much, the only place left to trim spending is in personnel.

"Our students will feel that educational impact in a negative way," Croom said.

He hopes about $2 million in remaining federal grant money aimed at protecting teaching jobs will be enough to hold on to dozens of employees for at least the next school year.

Beyond that, he expects it to be devastating.

"We know going into this budget that, in 12 months, we are going to be going through this again if the economy doesn't turn around," he said.

Another budget concern for the next school year is keeping buses running.

Cuts will devastate Johnston schools, leader says Cuts will devastate Johnston schools, leader says

The new budget adds five days to the school calendar, which Croom says will cost the school system an estimated $250,000 in transportation costs.

"We're taking a hit. On one end, our pot has gotten smaller, and on the other end, the number of days is growing, which is going to cost us to transport those students," Croom said.

As Croom waits to see what the final numbers will be, he worries about the possible toll on classrooms.

"I don't know that we really know the full effect of what this budget is going to do to public education," he said.

Republicans have said that estimates that their budget could eliminate more than 13,000 teaching positions have been exaggerated.

Perdue has yet to say whether she will veto the budget bill, which was approved by the General Assembly over the weekend.

Even if she does, it's likely it will go into law, as both chambers have enough votes to override a veto.


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  • alwaysamused Jun 7, 2011

    They do not work for a "For Profit" corporation. No principal at any public school should be making more than 80k. That is crazy money for what they do. claytontarheel

    I don't think you know what they do, the hours they work, the laws they must contend with, the helicopter parents they must appease, the everyday "fires" they have to put out amongst students and staff, plus the endless meetings and conferences they must lead every day. What principal has more than a few minutes a day to come into contact with a child, unless it's for discipline? A difficult, time-consuming, high-profile position has to be compensated appropriately, be it public or private.

  • Evolve Jun 7, 2011

    Nice priorities America- prisons and military. You might want to set aside more money for prisons. That's where the youth will end up if we keep taking priority off of education.

  • itsnotmeiswear Jun 7, 2011

    While I agree that the necessary cuts will not be obtained by % cuts of the salaries of all the administration nor do I think they should all be cut, there are a lot of these administrator salaries that are out of line. They do not work for a "For Profit" corporation. No principal at any public school should be making more than 80k. That is crazy money for what they do. I've met plenty of teachers that deserved a raise.

    I've been exposed to about a dozen pricipals in my years of raising children. I've yet to meet a single one that didn't spend more time actively dodging responsibility and avoiding conflict than making a real difference in the lives of the children.

  • musthavecoffee Jun 7, 2011

    Hater like Darth Vader, LOL. So little to teach when all the kids are at lunch!

  • BIlzac Jun 7, 2011

    So Superman would like us to go back to the days of the one room school house for the less affluent, while the wealthy send their children off to whatever wonderful school their money will afford?

    Or perhaps you're just ok with producing generation after generation of uneducated children.

    The logical conclusion of your argument is a tax system based upon usage. You pay more in transportation costs based upon the number of miles you drive or the number of vehicles you own. You pay more in postal taxes depending on the amount of mail you get.

    Thank God our country was founded under the principles of ALL contributing to a government that provides for ALL. It's your kind of thinking that divides rather than unites us.

  • superman Jun 7, 2011

    musthavecoffee-- you got it right. But dont forget the public education system is no different than public assistance. People get far more out of the system than they pay into. Lets cut public education and public assistance-- the two go hand in hand.

  • superman Jun 7, 2011

    The first thing we need to do in this country is to eliminate the free education welfare system. It is a drain on our budget. People who do not have children pay more in taxes to educate other peoples mistakes. So if you want more funding for the poor schools and your children, perhaps you could send them a check every month and we willing to step forward and do your share. We dont have children and we are doing more than our share to support you and your family. Get off the welfare system.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Jun 7, 2011

    Musthavecoffee is posting on here at 11:17. I'm a Johnston County resident with 3 kids in schools. I really wish they would raise my taxes so there could be more employees and aides to help you read the news at 11:17.

  • bngexpress Jun 7, 2011

    the first move in the political chess game is the use the school funding as a pawn.

  • musthavecoffee Jun 7, 2011

    "We were taught by educators that wanted to teach not whine about money and all the things they didnt have to make their job easier."

    Um... I have never heard anyone complain. Personally, if I need something, I go to the store and buy it. Most of my classroom materials are bought with my money. I think most teachers do it that way. That's why we don't complain.

    "Even worse is the Johnston County schools tell kids that after they pass the EOG they dont need to come to school rest of the year."

    I have NEVER heard that. In fact, my boss goes so far as to say "teaching occurs up until 1:10pm on Thursday." Whatever principal with which you confirmed your statement must have been confused about your question.

    As a JCS employee, I'm appalled and offended by your statements.